17 foot snake shows up at family picnic in Florida (video)

The snake 
By: Anika Rao 

(Scroll down for video) A family picnic in South Florida, was interrupted by a deadly and scary unwanted guest, according to video uploaded to the Internet.

If visitors to a picnic area in South Florida were bothered by ants, panic probably set in when a 17-foot Burmese python suddenly appeared slithering on the ground.

The huge snake was shot after the sighting by a family visiting from Arkansas, and the raw footage was provided to the public.

At 17 feet, the python was just below the record in Florida of a 17-foot, 7-inch specimen captured last year.

In order to combat the latest nuisance of the snakes, Floridas officials have announced a snake hunting contest. The inaugural program, in which hunters armed with guns and machetes will kill as much pythons as possible, is an attempt to make a dent in the population of the invading reptiles that threaten native wildlife.

Burmese pythons feed on small mammals, birds and lizards, but are prolific breeders throughout the Everglades. They are believed to have been introduced into Florida, initially, for pet owners who eventually let the snakes loose when it outgrew their pens.

Burmese pythons can no longer be purchased as pets in Florida, and it is illegal to transport reptiles across state borders.