The latest in a string of enormous snakes has slithered into sight in Florida. This rattlesnake, discovered in St. Augustine, Florida, is remarkable for its sheer size, measuring a whopping 7 feet 3 inches long. It has been dubbed "ratzilla" by locals, who trapped and killed it in a crowded, suburban neighborhood.
The snake, an eastern diamondback rattlesnake, is a monster by rattlesnake standards, which usually average between 3 and 6 feet. Eastern diamondbacks are commonly found in Florida and Georgia.
Local police called Brandon Booth, a professional trapper, to deal with the beast. Booth said that when he pulled up, he realized how big and dangerous the rattler was. "When I got there, I looked at it and said, 'That's bigger than 6 feet,'" Booth said. "I didn't have time to really think. I just jumped out of the truck with my gig and got him. He wasn't going to get away."
Meanwhile, Florida has been plagued by pythons, nonnative predators that have recently taken up residence in the area. Over the past few months, the enormous constrictors have been found in western Miami-Dade County, raising concerns that they could establish a breeding population. The number of Burmese pythons in South Florida and throughout Everglades National Park has exploded in the past decade to potentially thousands, though wildlife officials aren't sure exactly how many are slithering around the region.
Rock pythons, which can grow to 20 feet and weigh 200 pounds, are potentially the latest snake threat fearless Floridians face when they step out of their front doors.
For pictures of the snake, visit local news site New4Jax.com.