first python siewe captured measured more than 10 feet. “I caught it myself wearing flip-flops,” Siwe said, noting that she found it in middle of Florida highway.
She disorientated the snake by wearing a pillowcase over this is the head, then place the snake in trunk of her Camry.
The largest python Siwe caught was 17’3″ and weighed 110 pounds.
“I jumped on her in ditch on in side of road, all 17 feet of her,” Siwe said. “She had the biggest snake head I have ever seen. It was real battle of strength.”
Among those facing off against Sieve in it’s the yearFlorida Python Challenge: professional python hunter and defense challenge champion, Dusty Krum. Florida native42-year-old Krum caught the longest python in in competitionprofessional category last year, catching 16 foot python. In 2016 he was part of of troika team what took top honors in in challenge, catching 33 pythons.
“A lot of of it’s luck, but also about being in right place at the right time,” Krum said. “It’s someone’s game”.
snake hunters use diversity of equipment to get the job done, from snake hooks to special carry bags to array of lights that can detect reptiles in darkness of night.
Prepare for this year’s challengeKram uses his carefully selected collection of snake-catching technology.
“When it comes to challenge, it’s guns blazing,” said Krum. “I try to use all my equipment: small geotrackers, ATVs. I have swamps monster trucks with big tires on them. We outfit those with the lights on and i can access places general public I can’t get there.”
Python hunting, according to Krum and Sieve, is not for fainting of heart. Although pythons are not poisonous, they powerful – and is known to bite.
“They have hundreds of teeth and when they bite you it’s like needle pricks,” Krum said. “The worst thing that can happen is when a tooth breaks. off and stuck in you, and he will be infected.”
Siwe said she got bitten too much times count. “I was bitten by a 14 foot on my hand. i was bitten on my ass on my calf. Luckily I didn’t get bitten on my face”.
Like Krum, Siwe says she works to repurpose portions of pythons she catches. “I use leather to make straps for Apple watches,” she said.
Krum and Siwe both say they are “in it to win it’ when it comes to this years challenge.
no plan on sleep a lot during the competition, as pythons are nocturnal, which means best time for hunting late in the evening.
However, they said real goal of in challenge less to do with any personal victories they could score and far more do with the more cause both say they fight – and hunt – for.
“Is not trophy hunting or sport hunting,” Krum explains. “This is an ecological hunt. It’s a hunt to save our environment. it special the feeling when it’s man against the beast, the fight for in environment”.
No people in The USA was killed by pythons, but many of pets, and wildlife officials worry that pythons destroy the entire population of Florida native species if not stopped. Among mammals in Everglades that exterminate pythons: swamp rabbits, raccoons, foxes, deer and lynxes.
“Burmese python one of the biggest snakes in in the world capable of reaching 20 feet in length, and therefore of in our climate pythons can thrive in Florida, hunting on our wildlife,” Kirkland said. “In some regions of Florida, up up to 95% of populations of fur-bearing animals have disappeared.”
Pythons even eat Florida alligators.
“Pythons are generalists,” says McKayla Spencer, coordinator for Florida’s Interagency Python Management Unit. “They’ll eat anything.”
Pythons made them first appearance in Everglades in 1970s probably result of domestic snake is released into the wild, but population did not explode until the 1990s.
It was then that Hurricane Andrew hit Florida, destroying, among other things, several python breeding facilities. Kirkland said there was no definitive evidence that the destruction of breeding farms responsible for explosion of florida python population. “But it is not help”, he acknowledged.
There are no official evaluate of how there are a lot of pythons in Florida, because of their stealth nature.
“They are very hard find,” Spencer said. “For everybody one we find a python, there are 99 of them more out there.”
According to Spencer, pythons are increasingly showing up in peoplex yards and boats like snakes literally swallow more as well as more Territory of Florida.
That’s where the manhunters come in.
“I’ve always had this obsession with snakes and reptiles since I was little and my father taught me catch fish,” Siwe said. “I thought: “Why is this passion not [for] puppies or kittens or something normal? It’s not… it’s snakes.