The constrictor stretched 17 feet, two inches and measured 26 inches around at its thickest point. It weighed in at a staggering 207 pounds -- four pounds more than the Miami Dolphins' brawny No. 1 draft pick, Vontae Davis.
``It was a complete shock,'' said Patty Harvey, a technician at the hospital, which is just north of Lake Okeechobee. ``We see huge gators all the time being in Okeechobee, but you would never expect to see a snake this size.''
``The capture of this large python shows us how well these snakes can thrive in the wild and create a dangerous situation after illegal release or escape,'' said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. ``It also illustrates why the FWC is partnering with other agencies to implement python control measures in South Florida.''
Two weeks ago, the FWC began an experimental permit program that allows reptile experts to euthanize Burmese pythons on state-managed lands around the Everglades, where the population is now estimated to number in the tens of thousands.
The boy spends a lot of time on the grounds and overheard construction workers, who are building an addition to the hospital, talk about a large snake they had seen in a ditch, Harvey said. ``He runs over there and looks into the ditch and, lo and behold.''
As one of the largest snakes in the world, sometimes topping 20 feet, Burmese pythons are considered a serious threat to native species. Everything from deer hooves to endangered rats has been pulled from their bellies.
Yes indeed female staffers and children. Go ahead and joke about the Burmese Python that you happened to stumble across ... *Ahem*, the 17 foot burmese python.
Of course, its all fun and games ... until the state hires expert snake assassins to combat the Python Invasion 2009 ... of course, there's nothing to be concerned about ... right?