A water management company working in the Florida Everglades discovered and shot a massive 16-foot python that had just digested a 76-pound female deer in its stomach.

The snake was one of the largest ever found in South Florida. Authorities captured and then killed the massive animal to prevent it from spreading further through habitats to the North.

The deer was dead, but completely intact, even though it was slowly being digested in the belly of the python.

To get even more graphic…

The python, an ambush predator, had staked out a known deer trail, he said. When the deer walked by, the snake presumably seized the animal in its sharp, backward-pointing teeth, crushed the deer under its weight and coiled around it, killing the deer before consuming it, he said.

There could be more out there. In other news — happy swimming to the people of Florida!

[Via Sun Sentinel]