ORLANDO, Fla. — An man caught what he claims is the largest Burmese python ever caught in Florida on record.

John Hammond caught the 18-foot snake in the Florida Everglades Sunday morning.

Hammond was deep in the Everglades Sunday morning when he spotted the python and decided to catch it.

“So I grabbed its head, got wrapped up from the waist down and we fell over, and we laid there for about 30 minutes or so,” said Hammond. “And I had her head – that face – there the whole time while she was constricting me from the waist down.”

All by himself, Hammond says he was never worried about what might happen to him.

Hammond says he and about 50 other catchers are trying to clean up the Everglades for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“They were never down there when we were kids,” said Hammond, who grew up near Miami.

He said the invasive species is throwing off the entire ecosystem.

“In 20 years you could go down there and see nothing but alligators and pythons,” Hammond said.

Eventually, the python let go, and he gathered up the 150-pound snake.

Hammond says he and other catchers have removed thousands of the pythons from the Everglades in the last 18 months.

He says he plans on skinning the snake and putting it on display at his store in Winter Park, where he sells fossils and other artifacts through his business.