19-foot python killed. Jason Leon said he has two regrets about slicing the head off the longest Burmese python recorded in Florida:
He wishes he didn’t have to slay the beast, and he wishes his bedroom walls were big enough to mount the snake’s skin.
“I’m actually really mad I had to kill it,” Leon, 23, said Monday. “But at one point it coiled around both of my legs and my waist, and I wasn’t going to take a chance on letting that thing get to my neck.”
Leon and two friends were zipping around Florida City on ATVs on May 11 when one of them spotted a snake poking its head out of some brush near Southwest 373rd Street and 167th Avenue.
Leon, a part-time marine biology student at Florida International University and a former owner of pet snakes, jumped off his ride and grabbed the python behind its head, dragging it into the roadway.
The FWC said, when the python began to wrap itself around Leon’s leg, others were able to kill it with a knife.
Leon told the FWC he once owned Burmese pythons and was familiar with their habits.
“Jason Leon’s nighttime sighting and capture of a Burmese python of more than 18 feet in length is a notable accomplishment that set a Florida record,” said FWC Section Leader Kristen Sommers.
“The FWC is grateful to him both for safely removing such a large Burmese python and for reporting its capture,” she added.
Leon reported his capture to a FWC regional office.
The snake eventually went to the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center.
A necropsy performed there showed she was not carrying eggs.
The Burmese python is an invasive species that damages the Everglades and its wildlife.
A toll free number and smart phone app are available to those who have captured or have noticed exotic species.