Sunday, 1 October, 2023

US teen wrangled massive snake for Python Challenge

Bragging rights. That's what Jack Cronin has after catching a 15+ foot python during the state's Python Challenge.
"I was like that's a big snake," said Cronin, who is taking part in the Python Challenge for the first time. Stretching longer than an SUV and weighing nearly 100 pounds, the python would be problematic for any experienced hunter and especially challenging for a rookie. Cronin, however, was up to the challenge."That was my first python I ever jumped on. I've caught little snakes, that was my first python I'd ever seen," he said.
Cronin said python hunting has always been on his bucket list. When he made his first trip to Everglades National Park on Sunday night, the recent high school grad found a big needle in an even bigger haystack.
"We go over and there's just a snake's head sitting there, the size of my head. I shined the flashlight back through the woods to see the body, and couldn't even see the end of it," he said.
So what did the eighteen-year-old do in this slightly terrifying situation?

"Then I'm like, of course, I wanna jump on it. So I jumped on it, grabbed its head, then the thing went nuts and it turned into a wrestling match," said Cronin.

Despite the mega-size advantage, the 5' 10" Cronin was able to wrangle the 15' 6" invasive snake.

"Man, it's like an adrenaline rush like no other," he said.

The crew, however, missed the weigh-in for the Florida Python Challenge by just about five hours, so the 15-footer isn't in the running.

For Cronin, it didn't matter.

"We'll definitely be back out there trying to get another big mama," he said.