HARDEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida family says it was the biggest snake they’d ever seen.
“I was like, ‘Good lord, that’s a huge snake,'” said property owner Aaron Brown.
Brown was driving through his family’s property in Zolfo Springs on Sunday when something caught his eye. It was a Burmese Python measuring more than 16 feet, 4 inches long and weighing 300 pounds.
“I tried to coach my mom to get down there and grab a hold of it, and she wasn’t going for that,” he said with a laugh.
So instead, he called his cousin, William “Bobby” Wilkinson.
“That’s the biggest snake I’ve ever seen,” Wilkinson said.
The snake was spotted in a pipe, and Wilkinson shot and killed it.
“We started pulling him out of the culvert, and it just kept getting bigger and bigger, and I was like, ‘My God, look at this thing. This is one huge snake,’” said Wilkinson.
“I said I ain’t never seen one this big and never thought in my life I would have the opportunity to mess with something this big. This was one of my bucket list things,” he said.
His inspiration is Dusty Crum, star of the reality series “Guardians of the Glades.”
“Ever since the “Guardian of the Glades” has been on, I always tell my wife I’d love to go down there and catch a snake. Just one time go catch a snake. Lo and behold, one that was astronomically huge fell in my lap because my cousin spotted it in a ditch,” said Wilkinson.
Crum even came this week to check out the python.
The species is not native to Florida and cannot be legally owned for personal possession. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say pythons are breeding across natural areas in south Florida.
The FWC also got a recent report of a 9-foot Burmese python found in Charlotte County.
“Due to the distance from the known established breeding population of pythons in south Florida, this animal is likely released or escaped from captivity,” an FWC spokesperson said in a statement.
Brown said he’s run across some wild things in rural Florida, but the python ranks pretty high.
“It’s in the top 10,” he said.