Tour Guide Captures Huge Burmese Python (PHOTOS)

Tour Guide Captures Huge Burmese Python (PHOTOS)

A tour guide in the Florida Everglades took his excursion to 11 when he spotted a massive Burmese Python -- and leapt into the water to wrestle it into submission.

"I grew up here, so this is pretty standard for the most part," Tommy Owens ofEverglades Adventure Tours told NBC2.

Tell that to the awe-struck families who caught the whole adventure on video. Owens and fellow guide Warren Wortman were leading parents and children on a canoe tour through the river when the sight of the invasive species swimming along undisturbed made Owens indignant.

"They don't belong here, and that was literally running through my mind," he said. "I just launched on it essentially, ambushed it like any other predator out here." (Story continues below.)

The snake, however, turned out to be 10 and a half feet long -- and it began coiling itself around Owens' arm as the fight began.

"That's when I found out he was stronger than I was, and much bigger than I thought he was," Owens laughed. "We were kind of doing like a snake ju-jitsu. He'd get a coil around one arm and my other arm would uncoil him and that arm would get coiled. It was tough... at one point I was literally handcuffed to this snake."

With Wortman's help, the snake was eventually subdued and euthanized.

"They're eating our birds, our wading birds, our rabbits, our smaller mammals," Owens explained. "A snake that size can just cause a lot of damage, so I caused a lot of damage to him essentially, unfortunately for him."

Indeed. The pythons are suspected to be wiping out large numbers of raccoons, opossums, bobcats and other mammals in the Everglades, aaccording to an alarming recent population study.

Many of the snakes are believed to have made their way into the ecosystem when dumped by irresponsible pet owners -- and they've become such a huge problem they state even sponsored a month-long amateur hunt earlier this year. Unfortunately, the big hunt only yielded 68 of the estimated 150,000 pythons roaming the Everglades.

As for the little girls canoing with Owens and Wortman that day? They loved it, according to the guides.


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