Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A venomous copperhead snake that met an untimely end on a Tennessee road is just three inches short of a world record for the species.
Bub Stevens said he was driving on Old Highway 64 near Bolivar when the snake darted out in front of his vehicle and was run over.
"So I backed up and got out, and sure enough it was a big copperhead," Stevens told WREG-TV. "By that time it was dead. So I just got some gloves I had in my truck and picked it up and threw it in the back of my truck. I thought, 'Man, that's the biggest snake I've ever seen.'"
The snake measured 49.5 inches long, 3 inches shorter than the world record for the largest copperhead.
Stevens gave the snake to friend Anthony Landreth, who donated it to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
"I've seen a lot of snakes; we've all seen a lot of snakes," said Amy Spencer, TWRA wildlife information specialist. "We've never seen a copperhead this big."
Spencer said the agency plans to have a taxidermist preserve the snake for educational purposes.