A hunter killed a 17.5 foot python, setting a Florida state record.
Kyle Penniston, of Homestead, was alone when he caught the 120-pound serpent Monday as part of a state program to eliminate the Burmese python on Southwest Florida Management District lands.
Python hunters have killed nearly 2,000 snakes this year. The invasive species has no known predator in South Florida.
Penniston has caught 235 snakes, including two others that measured at least 17 feet.
Brian Hargrove, of Miami, has caught the most, 257.
Hunters are paid $8.25 an hour for up to eight hours daily and can make an additional $50 for pythons more than 4 feet, and another $25 for each foot over that. They can earn another $200 for destroying nests with eggs.