Python hunter recalls his biggest catch: 2 snakes and hatchlings

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro
A python hunter caught two large snakes and hatchlings recently, (CREDIT: Alex McDuffie)

Alex McDuffie has been catching snakes since he could walk.

Now, he’s living the dream.

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

“I tell all my friends, I’m dying for a snake that scares me, I’m dying for a snake that’s gonna humble me,” McDuffie said.

So far, that hasn’t happened.

The bigger the snake, the better.

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

McDuffie snagged the snake on Tuesday in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

His streak of goof luck started on Monday when he found a hatchling, and another, and another.

“And I was like, I was like, OK guys, we’re near this nest,” McDuffie said.

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

“And so I was instantly freaking out because that’s something I’ve been dreaming of finding just that alone. That’s not a monster but the mother on the nest is something I’ve always wanted to find,” McDuffie said.

But that wasn’t all.

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

And eventually found their mother, the 17-footer.

“It still hasn’t really hit me, that it’s really, like it was 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 keep her from slithering away in the woods.

Eventually, they got the python, carried it to the road and stretched it out.

“We realized like, we actually found a once-in-a-lifetime snake. But we’ve all been dreaming of since we started doing this,” McDuffie said.

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