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Whoa! 18-Foot Python Found in Florida

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(CNN) — Things that are about 18 feet long (sure it’s random, just go with it). There’s the Ford F-150 pickup truck. There’s the 18-foot skiff, a kind of zippy racing boat.

Then there’s the disturbing, frightening, shudder-inducing Burmese python that a Florida water-quality maintenance crew ran across this week.

Yes, an 18-foot snake. Well, 17.82 feet to be exact. And 150 pounds.

Workers with the South Florida Water Management District often run across the invasive snakes as part of their daily routine inspecting and maintaining canals, pump stations and the like, said agency spokesman Randy Smith.

But this one was something even for the grizzled crew of snake runner-acrossers.

“Needless to say, when you get one this big, it raises eyebrows,” Smith said. “It’s just such a large animal. They have no predators. They’ll eat anything, even alligators. They are ferocious creatures.”

The work crew came across the snake Tuesday in wooded uplands near wetlands a few miles north of Everglades National Park, Smith said.

They called in the agency’s python coordinator, who killed the snake with a shot to the head, Smith said.

Despite the snake’s size, it’s not the biggest recorded in Florida. That distinction goes to an 18-foot, 8-inch specimen killed by a Florida man who spotted it sticking out of bush in Miami-Dade County in May 2013, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Before that, the largest python captured in Florida measured 17 feet, 7 inches.

Pythons aren’t poisonous — they squeeze their prey and humans aren’t a frequent target.

But they are killing rabbits, raccoons, opossums, bobcats and other native species and wreaking havoc with the south Florida ecosystems where they’ve taken hold, according to research published in 2012.

Pythons are such a problem that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission held a contest last year to see who could capture and kill as many as possible.

Hunters turned in 68 of the snakes, the longest measuring more than 14 feet long.

9 comments

  • MThomas

    Why was it necessary to kill it? Couldn’t it have been relocated to a better habitat? Preferably where animal abusers and pedophiles live.

    • dalton

      Exactly, everybody gets all scared and jumps right to extremes with snakes. Just take it back to the amazons.

  • Jd

    Hehe. I like your thinking. Sadly because there are no predators to this animal all that would be done is creating another problem somewhere else. Florida like much of the everglades are way over populated and causing problems. Its alot like the to deer population in Ohio. Every year the heard needs to be thinned out to prevent a whole slew of problems.

  • cody

    relocate back to another country. Haha. do u realise how much that will cost. we already to much debt to do that. they cause harm. they need to be put down. for every one they catch. a 100 more hatch

  • Rob

    Why was it really necessary to kill it? Couldn’t it have been relocated to a better habitat? Or the zoo.? If it was such a threat. I hate when people just ho around hurting or killing animals just for the hell of it.

  • Ray

    It does not belong to Afrika. It’s asian. It wiil kill about anything. Florida children playing in thier back yards, older weaker persons in lawn chairs. Thousands need to be killed and few left that are neutered to hopefully wipe them out in time.

  • Heather Elder

    Ray- snakes are an essential part of their eco systems. To assert that we need to kill them off and neuter what is left is the most ignorant thing I’ve heard anyone say. This snake doesn’t belong in Florida. Pythons are not indigenous to the area and could have only gotten there by the hands of humans. Idiot humans who got something that is NOT a pet and released it into the wild. In it’s natural habitat, it coexists peacefully with humans most of the time. The next time you are going to say something this ignorant, pick up a book first or watch a nature show.

  • Candy

    I can’t believe people are against killing these things! They are way overpopulated. Population control is a necessary evil. If there weren’t hunters to reduce the deer population, there would be a lot more accidents, more farmers crops destroyed-same concept. How would all you whiners feel if it ate you favorite pet Fido or Fluffy? There has to be a balance in nature, and they are not in balance since there are no predators taking them out. Think about the other animals these things are killing!

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