A huge python set a potential record for the biggest Burmese python ever caught in the Everglades in Florida.

Two snake hunters caught the huge "beast of a snake" last week and are awaiting on official measurements to see if they have taken the record.

The current state record for length currently stands at 18.8ft.

Ryan Ausburn and Kevin Pavlidis paraded their achievement on social media.

Kevin wrote on his Facebook page: "On Friday we pulled this BEAST of a snake out of waist-deep water in the middle of the night, deep in the Everglades.

"I have never seen a snake anywhere near this size and my hands were shaking as I approached her."

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The pair said they are paid snake hunters working for the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which manages the state's python elimination programmes.

The invasive snakes are among the biggest threats to the fragile Everglades ecosystem.

Experts say they devour mammals and bird eggs and disrupt the natural balance between predators and prey.

Scientists don't know exactly how many live in the marshes and tree islands, but some estimates point to between 100,000 and 300,000 snakes.

The Everglades in Florida is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands on the southern tip of the state, and is home to an abundance of wildlife.

As well as snakes alligators, panthers, turtles and peacocks.

Burmese pythons can take down animals as large as alligators or deers but they rarely attack humans without first being provoked, scientists say.

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