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FWC trapper catches 17-foot Burmese python in Florida Everglades

By Ryan Arbogast

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    Florida (WBBH) — A Florida Fish & Wildlife python trapper had the catch of a lifetime over the weekend in a wildlife area near Fort Lauderdale.

“You gotta let her work, as my Brazilian Ju-Jitsu friends say. Got to let them work,” joked Matthew Kogo said, jokingly, as he attempted to subdue the snake.

Kogo, a trapper for the state, wrangled a 17-foot, 1-inch apex predator along the Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area.

“This is quality time,” he said with a laugh.

With the 2024 Florida Python Challenge to begin this summer, experts warn that hotter temperatures, constant rainfall, and humidity can make the invasive snakes more apparent in more residential areas.

Burmese Pythons are invasive, and wreak havoc to natural wildlife in the Florida Everglades. The snakes eat everything from deer to alligators, and have reduced some mammal populations by as much as 90%, according to FWC.

“Pythons and other snakes are exothermic, so they prefer to be active when it’s warm and humid. They’re tropical snakes,” said Dr. Andrew Durso, a wildlife biologist and professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.

“Nighttime temperatures are over 75 degrees. It’s probably a good rule of thumb for nocturnal Python activity,” Durso said.

If you come in contact with a Burmese Python, contact the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.

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