Florida has a problem with invasive Burmese pythons. The huge snakes, brought in as exotic pets and then abandoned or having escaped, have made nice homes for themselves in the state's swamps. Which is all well and good until they start eating every other animal they can. The locals, of course, are happy to mess with a giant snake and then knife fight it when things get dicey, even if said snake is the largest ever seen in the Sunshine State

Wildlife officials say a Burmese python nearly 19ft (5.8m) long has been captured in Florida.

It's a new record for the longest Burmese python caught in the wild in Florida. The previous record was a 17ft 7in python caught in August in Everglades national park.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the 18ft 8in snake was caught May 11 alongside a road in rural Miami-Dade County.

Wildlife officials said Monday that a Miami man spotted about 3ft of the snake sticking out of the roadside brush. He grabbed it and started dragging it into the open. When the snake began to wrap itself around his leg, he called to his friends for help and then used a knife to kill it. [The Guardian]