An python measuring 18’4″ found in Florida is the second largest ever to be caught in the wild.
To help put that into perspective, that’s about two-thirds as long as a London bus – or perhaps a more relatable comparison would be about three times as long as any six-foot friends you have.
Basically, it was a really fucking big snake.
The python was caught at Big Cypress National Preserve on September 22 by Cynthia Downer and Jonathan Lopez, members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Python Action Team (PAT).
The FWC shared a picture on Friday of Cynthia and Jonathon posing with the huge reptile, which weighed in at 98lb 10oz.
Though a lot of people would be terrified at the thought of getting close to a creature that big, the two team members seemed chuffed with their catch – probably because they set a new record for the largest snake ever captured by the PAT team.
Alongside the photo, the FWC wrote:
Cynthia Downer and Jonathan Lopez brought in this 98 pound, 10 ounce snake from the Big Cypress National Preserve!
This snake is the largest captured by our Team, and second longest python ever removed in the state.
In a press release, the organisation explained capturing large adult females is ‘critical because it prevents them from potentially adding an average of 30 to 60 hatchlings to the population each time they breed.’ In a Facebook comment, they said they knew it was a female as male pythons don’t reach that length.
The FWC has now removed 900 Burmese pythons from the wild in Florida. Eric Sutton, Executive Director of the FWC, commented on the milestone, saying the removal of the snakes made ‘a significant impact to protect Florida’s native wildlife’.
With leadership from Governor Ron DeSantis, we are committed to working with our partners including the South Florida Water Management District and the National Park Service to accomplish our goal of removing pythons from our beautiful state.
The organisation explained Burmese pythons became established in Florida as a result of escaped or released pets. It is illegal to release non-native species into the wild and doing so can negatively impact native wildlife and habitat.
The FWC are urging members of the public to help their cause by reporting sightings to the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-483-4681, online at IveGot1.org or by using the free smartphone app IVEGOT1.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.