Man Takes On 16-Foot Python In Harrowing Video

Clare Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: ROBERT SULLIVAN / AFP / Getty Images
Photo Credit: ROBERT SULLIVAN / AFP / Getty Images

A Florida trapper known as the “Python Cowboy” is no stranger to wrangling wild snakes, but even he wasn’t prepared for what he came upon while traversing the Everglades: a 16-foot python. The encounter was captured on video and has been uploaded to YouTube, giving the public a sneak peek at just how dangerous the reptiles are.

Burmese Python wrapped around a man's arm
Photo Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The video, titled Will The Burmese Python Problem In The Florida Everglades Ever Be Resolved, was uploaded to the Python Cowboy’s YouTube channel, which boasts over 183,000 subscribers.

Real name Mike Kimmel, he’s seen grabbing a 16-foot, 50-pound female python by the tail and pulling it from the swamp. He attempts to gain better control over the reptile while it thrashes around and hisses, all in an attempt to bite him. While Kimmel eventually grabs it just below its jaws, the snake continues to defend itself, using its long body to squeeze his waist and arms.

“You can see it’s eaten very, very good,” Kimmel says in the video. “Opossums, otters, raccoons, alligators. I mean nothing stands a chance against this thing.” The clip concludes with him taking the python off-camera to euthanize it, under the invasive species guidelines set out by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Male wrangler holding a Burmese python
Photo Credit: RHONA WISE / AFP / Getty Images

Native to Southeast Asia, Burmese pythons are among the largest snakes in the world, growing up to 20 feet and weighing as much as 200 pounds. They’ve established a home in the the Florida Everglades, due to irresponsible pet owners letting them loose. Their numbers have ballooned, leading the US Department of Interior to ban their importation in 2012.

Pythons have been deemed an invasive species in Florida, as they prey on native species and eat those creatures larger predators typically target. While it’s believed there could be at least 10,000 individual ones across the southern portion of the state, some estimate the number could be in the hundreds of thousands.

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Kimmel is no stranger to wrangling the reptiles. In 2020, he took on a 17-foot python, which bit his left arm, piercing an artery and hitting some nerves. Luckily, he was able to pull the snake off of him before it was able to properly latch on.


Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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