A huge snake caught in Everglades National Park may be the second-largest python ever captured in the state of Florida, according to researchers.
The giant python was caught along the Shark Valley tram road in early July. The reptile measured 18 feet, 3 inches, according to CBS Miami.
The largest snake ever captured in Florida was 18-feet and 7 inches. It was caught in 2013 in Miami-Dade, CBS Miami reports. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. A python measuring 18 feet, 3 inches (pictured) was captured in Shark Valley, Florida, on July 9th (photo: USGS).
The size of snakes captured outside of the park is not officially tracked by Everglades National Park staff, which is why they are not absolutely certain that this snake is the second-largest ever caught.
Burmese pythons are considered an invasive species in Florida, which has no natural predators. They seem to be wiping out most of the small mammals which used to thrive in Everglades National Park, CBS Miami reports.
Park officials say that the python was removed from the wild to help protect the wildlife. The species established itself in Florida several decades ago, as a direct result of the international pet trade.
Everglades National Park spokeswoman Linda Friar said that the reptile was humanely euthanized.
2. A Burmese python captured in the Everglades in August 2012 measured 17 feet 7 inches in length and weighed just under 165 lbs, making it the largest ever found in the state at the time. The massive reptile also contained a record-breaking 87 eggs.
A necropsy of the snake was conducted, the station reported, which found that it was a female, though it had not reproduced this season.
The python’s stomach was found to be empty. Snakes of this size are able to devour large prey like deer and alligators, U.S. Geological Survey officials say.
Estimates of the python population in South Florida vary greatly, with researchers putting their number anywhere from several thousands to 100,000 or more.
Florida bans the possession or sale of pythons for use as pets and there is a federal ban on the import and interstate sale of the species.
3. Python sneaks into a swimming pool with kids (related).
Read more: CBS Miami.
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