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18-foot python found in Florida

Feb 6 2014, 8:56pm CST | by , in News | Other Stuff

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18-foot python found in Florida
Image Credit: LiveScience

A whopping 18.2-foot (5.5 meters) Burmese python was caught in Florida on Tuesday.

A whopping 18.2-foot (5.5 meters) Burmese python was caught in Florida on Tuesday. Officials said that the nonvenomous constrictor was spotted by Water Management District workers on a levee, 25 miles west of Miami.

The men were inspecting the levee when they found the 150-pound snake.

Randy Smith, who works for the South Florida Water Management District, said that the levees in the area, which span thousands of miles, are perfect hiding places for the invasive pythons. "They're ambush hunters, and they like to hide down at the toe of the levee where there's plenty of bush and foliage," Smith told LiveScience.

The snake was shot and is now being examined at the University of Florida.

Researchers are hoping that the necropsy will reveal what it was eating before it died. The researchers are also hoping to find eggs.

Florida has been battling the invasive species for decades. Last year, the largest Burmese python was found in countryside of Miami-Dade County. It measured 18-feet and 8-inches long, just inches longer than the python captured on Tuesday.

A native to Southeast Asia, the Burmese python is one of the five largest snakes in the world. It's also a popular pet among snake collectors and enthusiasts.

It is believed that the pythons were released sometime ago by its owners. Their population ballooned over the years because they didn't have any natural predators.

These snakes would eat anything, from foxes to racoons, and from bobcats to alligators.  

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