This massive python could be the Florida’s heaviest on record.
Levee engineers in Florida discovered a massive Burmese python in the Everglades on Tuesday, the second time a python was found to be over 18 feet in the past year. Although the python found and destroyed this week fell short of the state record by six inches in length, Reuters reported that it could set a record for the largest python seen on state lands.
Burmese pythons are considered an invasive species in the Everglades, where the animal negatively impacts native wildlife. Pythons are excellent swimmers and adapted quickly to Florida’s wetlands, where they lacked natural predators. Last year the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission held a python hunting contest to help raise awareness for the invasive species, but hunters had a difficult time due to the python’s natural camouflage and elusive behavior.
Although the state will not be bringing back the competition for 2014, biologists are still looking for solutions that will cut down on the python population. Residents that see pythons outside of the Everglades are encouraged to call wildlife authorities, who will usually dispose of the large snakes. According to Livescience, the python found this Tuesday was shot and killed by a wildlife control professional.
Read more: Outdoor Hub