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Python hitches sailboat ride from Florida Keys to mainland

It remained on the boat for the entire nearly 100-mile voyage.

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story. 

Police say a 7-foot python snuck onto a sailboat in the Florida Keys and hitched a ride, staying on board until the boat completed its nearly 100-mile voyage.

The crew found the big snake in the boat’s shower after the vessel docked Friday in Marco Island in southwest Florida after the trip from Indian Key.

Marco Island Police quickly responded and handed the invasive snake over to a local wildlife handler after its joyride. 

Police posted photos of a smiling uniformed officer with the python coiled around his arm. 

Invasive pythons are believed to have descended from pets freed from captivity in recent decades. On average, the pythons are between eight and 10 feet long when they are captured and removed, the FWC says.

They are now ravaging native species of birds and mammals around South Florida.

The Burmese python is usually found in and around the Everglades ecosystem in South Florida. They prey on birds, mammals and other reptiles which hurts the regional environment. 

According to FWC, more than 13,000 Burmese pythons have been removed from the state of Florida since 2000.

The FWC says pythons can be humanely killed on private property any time with landowner permission and you don't need a permit. The FWC says it "encourages people to remove and kill pythons from private lands whenever possible."

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