An 18.2-foot-long Burmese python weighing 150 pounds was captured on Tuesday in the Florida Everglades, according to the state’s wildlife officials.
Randy Smith, a spokesperson for the South Florida Water Management District, told Megan Gannon of LiveScience that this female python could break the record for the largest Burmese python ever seen on state-owned lands.
The snake is roughly eight inches shorter than the longest Burmese python ever found in Florida. That snake, caught last year in Miami-Dade county, measured 18 feet 8 inches long and weighed 128 pounds.
The 150-pound python was found by engineers during a routine levee inspection, according to Reuters. The levees make good lounging spots for the snakes, which enjoy laying out in the sun.
After being discovered, the python was shot and killed and its body was delivered to researchers at the University of Florida who will cut it open to see if it was carrying any eggs.
Burmese pythons have been invading the Florida Everglades for at least a decade. The snakes are native to Southeast Asia, but were first discovered in the Sunshine State in 1979 and have been multiplying at an alarming rate since the 1990s.
The troublesome creatures eat native animals and are devastating Florida’s population of raccoons, bobcats, white-tailed deer, possums, and birds.
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