Python Hunter Recalls His Biggest Catch: 2 Snakes and Hatchlings

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COLLIER COUNTY

Alex McDuffie has been catching snakes since he could walk.

Now he is living the dream.

McDuffie is paid by the South Florida Water Management District to catch pythons.

“I tell all my friends, I die for a snake that scares me, I die for a snake that will humiliate me,” McDuffie said.

So far this has not happened.

The bigger the snake, the better.

And this week, he caught his biggest yet: a 17-foot, 6-inch Burmese python.

McDuffie caught the snake Tuesday at the Big Cypress National Preserve.

His bad luck streak began on Monday when he found a newborn, then another, and another.

“And I was like, I was like, OK guys, we’re close to that nest,” McDuffie said.

After finding a few more baby snakes, he saw a 10-foot female python coiled on her eggs.

“And so I panicked instantly because it’s something I’ve been dreaming of finding on my own. It’s not a monster, but the mother on the nest is something I’ve always wanted to find,” said said McDuffie.

But that was not all.

Seven feet from the nest, he saw another 74 empty eggs.

And finally found their mother, the 17-footer.

“It still hasn’t really struck me, it’s really, like it’s seriously the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me,” McDuffie said.

It took five people, all of whom jumped on the python’s back, to save it from sliding through the woods.

Eventually they took the python, carried it down the road, and stretched it.

“We realized that we had actually found a once-in-a-lifetime snake. But we’ve all dreamed of it since we started doing it,” McDuffie said.

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