BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Two Burmese python hunters from Fort Lauderdale broke a Florida record with an 18.9-foot female phyton.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Rodney Barreto said catching the “Burmese python behemoth” was “a triumph.”
The hunters, Ryan Ausburn and Kevin Pavlidis, are government contractors who have been tasked with reducing the population of invasive species. They work for the FWC and the South Water Management District.
â€œEach python we take out consumes a little less of our native fauna, and that’s what it is,â€ Pavlidis said.
Last week they were deep in the Everglades. It was dark near the L-28 Tieback Canal. Ausburn was driving Pavlidis’ deceived Ford Escape.
â€œI happened to see this pattern, and I kind of followed it and stopped,â€ Ausburn said.
Pavlidis stood on a fabricated metal platform that is attached to the Ford Escape.
â€œThe second he hits the brakes, instinctively I turn around,â€ Pavlidis said. “The second I turned around my heart fell from my chest.”
The python was in the water.
â€œI don’t know if I could sleep through the night losing such a big one,â€ Ausburn said. “As difficult as it was, there was no way I would let her go.”
Angela Scarfuro was with them to record the hunt. His video shows the couple struggled with the snake as they hoisted it onto higher ground. Ausburn held his head while Pavlidis took his cock.
FWC and SFWMD officials said the python was the largest hunter ever captured and removed from the Everglades. The FWC and SFWMD have reported that hunters with the elimination program have removed more than 5,000 pythons from the Everglades ecosystem.
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