An 18-foot python found in the Florida Everglades almost tied in size with the state’s record setting snake.
The Miami Herald reported that the massive Burmese beast was captured on Tuesday by python control on the L-28 levee, roughly 5 miles north of Tamiami Trail. Engineers came across the creature while inspecting levees in the Everglades. South Florida Water Management District spokesman, Randy Smith, said, “It looks to be about 18 feet,” adding, “It could very well be a state record.”
That was almost the case. Burmese pythons typically reach about 20 feet in their natural habitat of Southeast Asia. The current state record for a snake found in Florida reportedly was measured to be 18 feet, 8 inches and weighed in at 128 pounds when snake collector Jason Leon killed it. The python captured by Hill this past Tuesday met the same fate before its corpse was sent to the University of Florida to also be measured and weighed.
At 18 feet 2 inches, the female serpent fell short of the existing record by merely half a foot, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The cold-blooded creatures spend their days atop the leaves, doing what Floridians do: sunning themselves for hours on end. However, this species is currently being battled due to a rising concern that they could alter the ecosystem in a detrimental way. The southern state’s reptile residents have reportedly grown to a population comprising upwards of 150,000 in the Everglades and have been consistently consuming the indigenous species as their main source of food.
But who is truly to blame for the python proliferation? This colossal species of snake – the largest in the world – is reported to have found a home in the Everglades following the use of the wetlands as a convenient dumping ground by pet owners.
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