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Florida man rescues alligator from python’s death grip in Everglades — and it’s all caught on video

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A Florida man rescued an alligator from a python’s death grip in the Everglades this past weekend, and it was all caught on video.

Professional Python Hunter Mike Kimmel captured a python that was close to an alligator in the Florida Everglades on June 15. This video was recorded by Jack Hubbard, said he was trying to conquer his fear of snakes.

Jack Hubbard of Lakeland posted the gator-python video on his Facebook page. He said he went to Everglades Wildlife Management Area 3A this past weekend to meet up with python hunter Mike Kimmel.

And what an adventure they had.

Hubbard and Kimmel, a licensed snake hunter and the owner/operator or Martin County Trapping and Removals, were looking for pythons at night when they came across a large one — about 10 feet long — that was trying to make a meal out of a small gator.

“I think that’s little gator’s done,” Hubbard can be heard saying on the video. “A good size snake, too.”

But as Kimmel took a closer look at the python, he got a surprise.

“The gator’s still alive,” he said.

That’s when Kimmel grabbed the python by its head and removed it from the water.

“I got you buddy. Hold on,” Kimmel told the little gator, which looked to be about 4-feet in length.

A minute later, the python released the gator. The snake was not so lucky as Kimmel kept his grip.

As Kimmel prepared to hand off the python to Hubbard so he could go retrieve a sack to store the snake, that’s when the Lakeland man made a confession.

“You know I’m afraid of snakes, right?” Hubbard told Kimmel.

Hubbard confronted his fear and took over holding the 10-foot python, which promptly coiled around his arm.

“That is a weird feeling,” he explained.

The python-gator struggle shows the impact the invasive snakes are having on Florida’s environment.

Wildlife officials have said many smaller mammal species have virtually disappeared from the Everglades due to the growing python population. Alligators are considered apex predators, but now even they aren’t safe with pythons around — especially smaller gators like the one that Kimmel and Hubbard helped free.

In January, a Florida man found a python and alligator battling on a Naples golf course. In that encounter, the alligator appeared to get the upper hand in the battle.

Kimmel told Tampa TV station WTSP that this was the third gator he rescued from a python in less than a year.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “Burmese pythons of all sizes have been found in the Everglades. The largest snake was over 16 feet long and weighed over 100 pounds. Most Burmese pythons are between 6 and 10 feet long, and are larger than almost all native snakes. In their native range, Burmese pythons commonly reach 18 feet, and the largest specimens exceed 20 feet.”

Roger Simmons, Content Director for Audience Engagement, is a member of the Orlando Sentinel Community Conversations Team. He can be reached at rsimmons@orlandosentinel.com

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