A family of four taking a canoe tour of the Florida Everglades got an extra special surprise when their guide jumped out of the boat to wrestle a Burmese python.
Tommy Owens, 26, and fellow guide Warren Wortman of Everglades Adventure Tours were leading the parents and two young girls on a tour through the river when one of the family members spotted the snake.
The species aren’t native to the area and are accused of a being scourge to local wildlife.
Little did tour guide Tommy Owens realize that the python was 10.5ft long and stronger than him
After pushing their tour boat at least 15 feet away from the python, Owen grabbed the snake under the water and allowed it to wrap and coil around him so he could pull it out.
Unfortunately for Owens, he hadn’t realized that this particular python was 10.5ft long and much stronger than he was.
‘He was very strong, about three times the size of my arms,’ said Owens.
As they began to fight, the snake began to coil itself around his arm.
‘That’s when I found out he was stronger than I was, and much bigger than I thought he was,’ Owens told NBC2.
The guides wrestle with the snake, while the family on the canoe tour watch the action from their boat
‘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.
The pythons are suspected to be wiping out large numbers of raccoons, opossums, bobcats and other mammals in the Everglades.
Owens and Wortman turned the dead snake over to the Big Cypress National Preserve, where it will be tested to find out its eating habits, origin, and where it’s been.