04/12/2013 02:24 EDT | Updated 04/12/2013 02:27 EDT

Tommy Owen Wrestles Burmese Python In Florida Everglades (VIDEO)

A family of tourists got more than they bargained for when their tour guide decided to wrestle with a giant snake while out exploring the Florida Everglades.

Tommy Owen, a tour guide with Everglades Adventure Tours, was out with a family touring the river when the mother of the group pointed out that a snake, a Burmese python, was swimming in the river alongside their boat.

This particular type of snake, according to Owen, isn't native to Florida's ecosystem and poses a threat to the river's birds, reptiles and other wildlife. Owen positioned the boat a safe distance away from the snake to protect the family, reports the Daily Mail,

"They don't belong here and that was literally running through my head," said Owen, according to Sky News.

Owen then leaped into the river and plunged his arms into the water so he could grab the snake and lift it out of the liquid. What happened next took the 26 year old by surprise.

"I didn't even realize it was 10ft," Owen told in the Telegraph. "I thought it was definitely bigger than me but I didn't realize it was three times the size of my own arm."

Owen and the python fought for several minutes while the family caught the incident on camera. As the guide attempted to gain the upper hand, the snake began to coil itself around both his arms.

The guide then began thrashing the snake, smashing its coiled body against the surface of the river. Eventually the python's body gave in and allowed Owen to use what he calls "snake jujitsu" to subdue the snake while his partner, Warren Wortman, cut off its head, ABC News reports.

Owen says he regrets killing the three-metre snake but that the invasive species is a threat to the environment in the Everglades

The snake's body has since been turned over to the Big Cypress National Preserve, where researchers will attempt to find out what the snake's origins.

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