Authorities say three cyclists spotted an 8-foot-long Burmese python beside a road near Miami.

In a news release, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials say the cyclists first thought they saw a large tree branch Tuesday night. But when the snake scurried into a grassy area near the road, they became concerned it could threaten people or their pets.

Rescue crews were able to capture the snake, which was to be turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Officials say pythons are very active between April and October when they try to eat as much as possible before temperatures drop.

In February, 106 Burmese pythons were captured during a month-long, state-sanctioned hunt.

Thousands of the invasive snakes are believed to be stalking Florida wildlife in the beleaguered Everglades.