A snake hunter fatally shot a python measuring nearly 18-feet long and weighing approximately 150 pounds in the Florida Everglades earlier this month.
Bobby Hill, a python control agent for the South Florida Water Management District, found the 17-foot, 8-inch female Burmese python during a routing levee inspection Feb. 4. The massive serpent comes just shy of the 18-foot, 8-inch world record, USA Today reports.
Despite their size and exploding population, coming across the “very elusive” python in the wild is unusual, according to Gabe Margasak, a spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District.
The Burmese python is not native to Florida, but according to Everglades National Park, the species has thrived since pet owners released them into the wild.
“Nowhere else on the planet has such a large constrictor been introduced and established in a foreign locale as a result of the exotic pet trade,” Everglades National Park said.
[ USA Today ]