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    Friday, May 12, 2017


    A python hunter captured an almost 17-foot long snake using just his bare hands.
    Dusty 'The Wildman' Crum managed to wrestle the creature while traipsing through the Florida Everglades.
    It's the biggest python that's ever been caught in the national park.
    Later, it was discovered that the snake had 78 eggs inside - which were taken out to prevent any new snakes from being born.Of his catch, Crum described it as 'like Andre the Giant versus Hulk Hogan, WrestleMania!'Crum is participating in a project started two months ago by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with a goal of eradicating pythonsThe orchid-grower by day has caught several snakes including the 50th Burmese python in the program - measuring 14-feet, 6 inches - which was broadcast live on Facebook on April 25.But this is the biggest of his career - and the biggest snake that's ever been caught in the Florida Everglades at 16 feet, 10 inches.And Crum gets paid pretty well to do this kind of dangerous work.SFWMD is paying hunters like him $8.10 per hour - with incentives.
    Depending on the size of the snake they capture, there is an additional on-the-spot payment of $50 for pythons measuring up to four feet long and an extra $25 for each foot measuring more than four feet. 
    Crum's massive catch, however, netted him $375 - the same amount it would cost to sell the skin.
    The snake was the biggest caught during this round of hunting, although not the biggest ever.
    The southern Florida record was a snake measuring 18 feet, two inches and weighing 160 pounds.

    SFWMD pays hunters $8.10 per hour. Depending on the size of the snake, there is an additional on-the-spot payment of $50 for pythons measuring up to four feet long and an extra $25 for each foot measuring more than four feet - Crum (pictured) earned $375 for his catch 
    o far, 78 snakes have been removed from the Everglades. The district says a program like this is important because pythons are a massive and growing problem, in south Florida (SFWMD members are pictured transporting the python)
    But The Wildman's catch was nothing to sneeze at, weighing in at 130 pounds.
    Hunters are given an additional $100 for each eliminated python found guarding nests with eggs and, in the case of this one, there were 78 eggs found.
    Researchers estimate that at least 30,000 and upwards of 300,000 pythons likely occupy southern Florida and that this population will only continue to grow.
    The invasive species terrorizes raccoons, rabbits, birds and even gators.
    A typical female breeds every other year, produces a clutch of between twenty and fifty eggs, and can live for twenty years or more.
    'It is a small program right now. We started 48 days ago…78 snakes removed,' Juan Valdes of SFWMD told WFOR.
    Crum added that just one capture can prevent several more from emerging in the Everglades. 
    'When people say they are only catching one or two snakes, why are they not catching more snakes?' Crum told WFOR.
    'Well we are making the difference by taking the eggs out of the eco system.'

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