The biggest ever Python snake found in Florida, measuring 18 feet and 8 inches long, has been captured and killed.
The 128lb giant female reptile broke the previous record by over a foot.
The Burmese Python, an invasive species to the Florida Everglades, was found and killed by Jason Leon in a rural area southeast of Miami.
He managed to snare the snake after seeing part of its body sticking out the undergrowth.
With the help of a friend he killed the snake with a knife. According to University of Florida scientists, the snake was not carrying eggs.
Florida Wildlife officials later told him it was the biggest ever recorded in the state. The previous longest was 17ft and seven inches.
‘We were riding and I saw something poking out on the side of the road. At first I didn’t know what it was,’ said Veronica Larios, who accompanied Leon to the Everglades.
In a video recorded by another friend Blake Jordan Leon can be seen grabbing the snake by it’s neck.
Larios hands Leon a knife and helps him move the snake’s body as it tried to coil around her friend.
Leon said: ‘For about 10 minutes, he was wrapping around my legs, around my arms. I was switching arms, and finally. We finally pulled him apart, stretched him out, and took a knife and cut his head.’
‘I knew that it was a big snake and I’ve never seen it in the wild. I knew it didn’t belong there. I knew they had to be removed so I grabbed it.’
The snake was later given to the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center for a necropsy.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee, recently sanctioned a hunt to try and rid the Everglades of the pythons.
A total of 63 pythons were captured as 1,600 people took part in the month long hunt with the longest 14ft 3in.
The Pythons are killing other small animals in the one million acre Everglades.
They are also thought to be breeding an at alarming rate with the first reptiles released into the Everglades thought to have been pets that outgrew their containers.