Florida Gator Hunters Capture Rare Python Hundreds of Miles North of the Everglades

A group of hunters recently stumbled upon—and captured—an invasive python in Central Florida.

Chuckie Burgess and Kaylee Stillwaggon were looking for alligators with Jay and Carlee Strickland on Sunday, October 29. The group was in T.M. 

Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, a marsh in southern Brevard County, when they spotted the snake near the road. 

“I was freaking out,” Carlee Strickland told FOX 35. “I don’t like any kind of snake, and I’ve never seen one that big.”

Chuckie Burgess quickly jumped a fence to grab the python. 

With help from Strickland, he managed to subdue and kill the large snake, which taped in at 11-feet, 10-inches long and weighed 52 pounds, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). 

“Cowboy s***,” wrote Stillwaggon in a Facebook post showing pictures of the python—as well as a gator they successfully hunted later that day. 

The python capture is especially notable given its location in Central Florida. 

Burmese pythons have plagued the Everglades of South Florida, decimating native mammal species, for over two decades—but in recent years, they’ve started spreading north into places like West Palm Beach and Fort Myers. 

Brevard County is even further north than those locales. In an email provided to Field & Stream, FWC said it’s not the first time a Burmese python has been discovered in Central Florida.

 “FWC staff performed a necropsy and determined that it was male,” the statement reads. “At this time, we do not know how this invasive snake arrived to Brevard County. 

This was the second verified removal of a Burmese python from Brevard County. On October 24, 2022, a dead Burmese python was found at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.”