The record for the longest snake in Florida was thought to have been broken when a resident recently caught an 18-foot Burmese Python.

John Hammond, a python removal contractor working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, caught the massive python in the Florida Everglades area on December 18, WSVN reported.

According to the local officials, snakes such as pythons usually come out of their hiding places in cooler weather. Citizens have been urged to contact the Exotic Species Hotline when encountering one.

Pythons are invasive in nature and have no natural predators in the Everglades. They are known to eat marsh rabbits and mice, threatening the local ecosystem. As a result, authorities in the southern Florida area have set up a Python Elimination Program. Contractors are hired to remove pythons in order to restore balance in the environment.

The 18-foot python, weighing almost 150 pounds, was believed to be the largest python ever caught in the state of Florida. It was subsequently euthanized.

Pythons are non-venomous snakes and are often kept as pets. However, the strength in their constriction grip makes them a threat to small children.