A near record-breaking Burmese Python measuring more than
5.5m was discovered by engineers the in Everglades National
Park near Miami, Florida. Photo from Reuters
Engineers in the Everglades stumbled upon a
near-record-breaking Burmese python measuring more than 5.5m
long during a routine inspection of levees, a water management
district spokesman said.
The snake, measuring at 18 feet 2 inches (5.5m), fell short
of the state record by 6 inches, according to the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Last year, a snake collector in the state discovered the
largest python on record there, measuring 18 feet 8 inches,
commission spokeswoman Katie Johnson said.
The pythons, which can grow to more than 20 feet in their
native habitat in Southeast Asia, are one of the most
problematic invaders of Florida's sprawling Everglades
They eat indigenous species and their food sources, fueling
concerns that the predator snakes will fundamentally change
The python was killed, and its corpse was taken to the
University of Florida, where it will be measured and studied
by scientists trying to combat the species, according to
South Florida Water Management District spokesman Gabe
Officials have said the python population is believed to have
grown to as many as 150,000 in the Everglades. The
cold-blooded reptiles are often found atop levees, where they
lie for hours at a time to warm up under the Florida sun.
The snakes, one of the largest species in the world, found a
home to their liking in the Everglades when pet owners
started using the wetlands as a convenient dumping ground.