Massive 18ft Python in the Everglades? Just Another Day in Florida.
Do you jump when you see a garter snake slither by your feet? Nope? Great! Then you're sure to love this 18ft python that has everyone smiling from ear to ear!
This behemoth (which measures exactly 18ft, 3in) was caught at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park on July 9th, CBS Miami reports. It's apparently the second largest python that's ever been caught in Florida -- the first obviously being Mr. 305 (sorry).
The python, which was found to be a female that had not yet reproduced, was captured by a permitted python researcher who frequently works in the Everglades National Park. It's a Burmese python, a species that has apparently been uprooting the small animals living in the national park. Park officials say its removal will help protect the park's wildlife moving forward.
According to CBS, after capturing the snake, National Park Service and US Geological Survey interns were permitted to hold the snake to "help them gain confidence and experience." Because nothing says "this is what you signed up for" more than "hold this horrifying 18ft python and smile like you're totally okay with it."
Apparently, the estimated number of pythons living in South Florida varies from several thousand to more than 100,000. Enjoy, friends! State and federal officials have tried using traps, python-sniffing dogs, and a "massive amateur hunt" to deal with the python population, however, only cold temperatures and "exotic pet amnesty days" -- during which you own up to owning a python, no questions asked, you freak -- have been successful.
Florida: a place you still don't want to be.