18-Foot Burmese Python Found and Killed in the Florida Everglades

Engineers in the Florida Everglades on a routine inspection of levees found an 18-foot-2-inch Burmese Python on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The snake missed the state record by six inches, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It was killed and taken to the University of Florida for research.

Burmese pythons are one of the most harmful invasive species in the Florida Everglades. They can grow more than 20 feet in length and have been wrecking havoc on the Everglades' ecosystem by eating indigenious species and their food sources. Officials have tried several methods to curb their expansion, including offering cash prizes as bounties, but have had little success.