EVERGLADES, Fl. (WSVN/CNN) – Two south Florida men have quite a story to tell after what they encountered in the Everglades — a massive 144-pound python.

Nicholas Banos and trapping partner Leonardo Sanchez were driving around — keeping all eyes on the lookout — when moments later, they made their phenomenal find. A 144-pound rock python.

“Second I get out of the car and I look over, it’s this big python stretched there where the trees meet the water,” said Banos. “And when we jumped at it, [Sanchez] goes and grabs it by the tail. The second he starts to grab it, the snake starts to b-line into the trees. So, he tells me, ‘Go for the head, Go for the head!’”

Minutes later, they were finally able to get their grasp. They managed to get the snake into a massive bag and throw it in the back of their van.

It’s all part of the Python Challenge to help protect the everglades.

The South Florida Water Management District selected and commissioned 25 snake hunters to kill Burmese pythons over a 60-day period, because they’re an invasive species.

“Native animals, deer, raccoons, whatever it is, birds…they’re disappearing. They’re disappearing.  And it’s because of the python,” said Sanchez.

Both Sanchez and Banos said despite the thrill of the hunt, it’s not all satisfying.

“We don’t hunt for sport,” said Banos. “We’re not hunting to kill. We hunt to remove. Catch and remove. But having to kill it was a little rough for us. We’ve never really had to do that before.  So, it was satisfying but it was also a feeling of…a little bit of heartbreak.”

 

 

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Posted: Apr 04, 2017 6:02 AM CDTUpdated: Apr 04, 2017 6:05 AM CDT

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