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Green anacondas are native to South America and can grow to more than 500 pounds and almost 30 feet long.

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State wildlife officers shot and killed a 9-foot-long green anaconda Monday near the St. Johns River at the Brevard – Orange county line.

A concerned citizen and an airboater had called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission around 5 p.m. Monday. FWC responded and found a large snake on the embankment of the Midway Airboat Rides off of State 50 in north Brevard, said Lenny Salberg, an FWC spokesman.

"We tried to contain it to capture it, but it tried to escape," Salberg said. "So we had to euthanize it. We ended up shooting it. Its a non-native species."

Green anacondas are native to South America and can grow to more than 500 pounds and almost 30 feet long. In Florida, the snake poses a risk to native wildlife.

"We won't let that snake go back in the wild, due to the ecosystem," Salberg said.

"They are illegal to posses," Salberg said, adding that doing so is a second-degree misdemeanor. "You can't transport them."

FWC officers checked but found no embedded microchip identifying the snake.

"We couldn't determine if it was a pet, or if somebody set it lose, or if it's been in there a while, we don't know," he said.

Contact Waymer at 321-242-3663 or jwaymer@floridatoday.com Follow him on Twitter@JWayEnviro and at facebook.com/jim.waymer

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