Tommy Owen, a tour guide in Everglades National Park, was escorting a group of tourists this past week through the park’s wetlands when he spied something in the water that probably shouldn’t have been there. To the tour group’s amazement, Owen pounced on what turned out to be a 10-foot Burmese python and wrestled it out of the water.
Owen admitted to the local NBC affiliate that the snake was a lot bigger than he anticipated, but he wasn’t going to back down from a fight.
“I just launched on it essentially, ambushed it like any other predator out here and just got it – had the best grip on it and never let go the entire tussle.”
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Burmese pythons — many of whom originated as pets, park officials say — are a growing problem in the Everglades. Earlier this year the state held a python-hunting competition, offering cash prizes in a bid to help thin the population.
Soon after he captured it, a coworker helped Owen kill the snake.
“I grew up here, so this is pretty standard for the most part,” Owen said.