Florida’s invasive Burmese pythons have up to 120 teeth, so it was no laughing matter when a professional python hunter found one latched onto his boot.
Video of the encounter shared on Facebook shows the bite came after the snake lost a tug-of-war with Mike Kimmel and was dragged from brush on a Florida island.
“As I’m exposing more of her, she just keeps growing and growing and it looks like a big-sized snake. I know I got to quickly grab that tail, yank her out of there, and she don’t want to come easily,” Kimmel says in the Nov. 30 video. “We’re fighting, battling, I finally rip her out and she gets a hold of my boot and we’re doing a little bit of do-si-do.”
In the seconds that follow, the hunter is seen spinning in a circles to stay ahead of the snake’s attempt to coil around his legs. Kimmel does this while keeping a firm grip on the snake’s tail.
“Fat snake, guys, fat snake,” Kimmel says as he spins. “Yeah, it’s latched onto my boot.”
The hunter eventually shakes himself free but notes the nearly 10-foot snake continues to strike at him.
Another hunter eventually steps in, grabbing the snake just behind the head to prevent additional bites.
The snake was clearly a well-fed female and might be carrying eggs, said Kimmel, who euthanizes the captured reptiles.
A date and location for the hunt was not revealed, but Kimmel said in a Facebook post that it was a training exercise for a new python hunting dog named Rogue.
“At that point, my main concern is not blacking out,” he told the news outlet. “Bleeding out crossed my mind, but I was really worried about losing consciousness.”
Graphic video shows Kimmel applied a tourniquet with one hand while holding the snake with the other.
Burmese pythons are a growing problem in South Florida, where some weighing around 200 pounds have been captured.
Kimmel, who is based in Martin County, says he has captured nearly 30 pythons this season.