A giant Burmese Python measuring 5.5 meters (18’4″) has been caught in the Florida wilderness, and is the second largest snake ever to be caught in the wild.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Python Action Team (PAT) members, Cynthia Downer and Jonathan Lopez caught the python in Big Cypress National Preserve on September 22. The giant reptile reportedly weighed in at almost 45 kilograms.

For most, even just the idea of a snake this large is a thing of nightmares, however the pair seemed extremely happy with their catch as they posed for a picture with the record setting herp.

Burmese Python | Pixabay

Sharing the image on Facebook, the FWC wrote:

Record breaker!

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 highlighted the importance of capturing large breeding females stating it as ‘critical because it prevents them from potentially adding an average of 30 to 60 hatchlings to the population each time they breed.’

900 Burmese pythons have been removed from wilderness areas in Florida by the FWC. Eric Sutton, Executive Director of the FWC, said the removal of the snakes made ‘a significant impact to protect Florida’s native wildlife’.

He added:

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.

Burmese pythons established a wild population in Florida as a result of released pets and escapees after various natural disasters. It is illegal to release non-native species into the wild and doing so can negatively impact native wildlife and habitat.