A Florida man with experience handling snakes captured and killed a 128-pound Burmese python he discovered on the side of the road in Miami-Dade County, Fla., USA Today reported Monday.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Jason Leon was driving down a rural road when he saw three feet of the 18-foot, 8-inch snake sticking out of the bushes. Leon, who owned several Burmese pythons before they became illegal in 2010, killed the snake with a knife when it began to wrap itself around his leg.
Leon's discovery turned out to be the largest ever Burmese python found in Florida. The second longest was 17-feet, 7 inches.
"The FWC is grateful to him both for safely removing such a large Burmese python and for reporting its capture," the Exotic Species Coordination Section of the FWC, said in a statement.
The FWC also warned the general public not to try to handle or capture the snake themselves.
Burmese pythons, the largest species of snake in the world, are considered invasive to the state of Florida. According to the National Park Service, more than 1,800 of the reptiles have been found in Everglades National Park since 2002.