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A Florida Teen Wrangled A 15-Foot Python With His Bare Hands

NY Post - A Florida teenager was praised for wrasslin’ up a massive, 15-foot-6-inch python during his first-ever trip to the state’s southernmost Everglades National Park on Sunday.

The reptile-wrangling rock star, 18-year-old Jack Cronin of Fort Meyers, had but one thing to say after impressively capturing the monstrous leviathan.

“I was, like, ‘That’s a big snake,’ ” Cronin aptly told CBS4 Miami, which reported that the python weighed more than 100 pounds and was longer than an SUV while uncoiled.

“That was my first python I ever jumped on. I’ve caught little snakes — that was my first python I’d ever seen,” he added.

What happens in someone's life that makes a man want to wrangle snake? Is it just for the thrill? Is it a rite of passage for Florida teenagers? Was his Tinder picture holding a fish on a boat not pulling enough pussy, and he needed an upgrade? Whatever it is, I can't relate to them. I wasn't born with the snake gene. I had a wiener dog named Homer when I was a kid and that's the closest I'll ever get.

It appears this particular snake kid was hunting snake for a snake hunting contest. The Florida Python Challenge it's called. It's a challenge for snake catching novices, where the winner brings homes $10k. 

The idea that Florida can drum up $10k (plus a $7,5000 second place price) for an amateur snake catching competition is hilarious to me. I didn't know there was that much money in snaking. Unfortunately this kid didn't take home a dime. He missed the weigh in.

Unfortunately for Cronin, his major award didn’t count toward the competition, as he and his crew missed a mandatory weigh-in by five hours. 

This kid seems perfectly happy, but that has to keep him up at night. If you gave me $10k as a Florida teen, it would have changed my life. Not necessarily in a good way. I actually lived with a teen from Florida at a hostel in Los Angeles. Last I saw of the kid he was posting snap chat videos of him and his friends huffing jenkum. I think it's safe to assume that's what all Florida teens do. 

Damn shame. And just in case you thought this sounded unsafe, there's no need to worry. All contestants were required to pass an online training course. I don't know what exactly this online snake wrangling course entailed, but I don't imagine it teaches you to wrap yourself in the same 15-foot python you just went 12 rounds with. 

Again, I'm not a snake guy, so I'm probably going to sound ignorant here. But don't pythons kill their prey by squeezing them? By wrapping their bodies around their prey? Is that not what pythons are all about? Apparently not, because this kid looks happy as a clam while he wears his snake (which appears to be very much alive) like a full body scarf. And based on everything in the article, it sure sounds like this python wasn't too pleased with being captured.

“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,” Cronin, now a freshman at the University of Central Florida, said. “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.”

Upon further review, it appears as if the snake is not fully wrapped around his body, but merely draped over top of him. But still, the kid is covered head to toe in a constrictor snake. They can't teach that in online snake school. He clearly has good enough control of the snake to not be worried about it, but I can't help but think if that python wanted to it could wrap it's tail around his leg and refuse to let go. Florida snake kids are built different I guess.