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Man who caught record-breaking Burmese python in Florida recalls dramatic fight with snake

A man who captured a massive, record-setting Burmese python in South Florida this week said the snake had his "hand in her mouth," forcing him to grab his pistol. In a Facebook post, Kyle Penniston said he kept fighting the 17-foot, 5-inch female snake "till we were both dead of energy."

Penniston of Homestead, Florida, caught the snake Monday night while hunting on South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) lands in Florida's Miami-Dade County. The snake weighed 120 pounds.

In his Facebook post, Penniston said he "jumped out and grabbed her by the head and realized how big she truly was. She started wrapping me while I tried getting her up the levee, she ended up making me loose [sic] my grip and as soon as I knew it she had my hand in her mouth. I grabbed my pistol off my side loaded one in the chamber and it jammed. I kept fighting till we were both dead of energy."

So this snake just showed me you really can do anything. I just caught this python alone, I was riding along the levee...

Posted by Kyle Penniston on Monday, November 5, 2018

The python was captured as part of SFWMD's Python Elimination Program, which describes itself as an effort to preserve the ecosystem of the Florida Everglades by taking aggressive action against pythons. "Eliminating invasive species such as Burmese pythons is critical to preserving the rare Everglades ecosystem," SFWMD said Wednesday in a news release.

The governmental agency said the catch set a record for the program and brings the total number of invasive snakes that have been eliminated to 1,859, "stretching a combined length of more than two miles and collectively weighing more than 11 tons." It also brings the total number of snakes that have been caught as part of the program measuring more than 17 feet to three.