Carlos Hernandez thought he’d seen it all. As a Guiding Department Manager at Caves Branch, he’d been exposed to some of the most exotic and diverse wildlife in the world. While out preparing for a tour of the Caves Branch River, Carlos came face to face with a creature that shouldn’t exist. Stretching 33 feet long and weighing in at an estimated 900 pounds, this prehistoric relic was wrapped around a tree that it positively dwarfed in comparison, the weight of its massive frame stretching well out to the bank of the river. “It was the most terrifying thing I’d ever seen in my life,” said Hernandez, “But while my body told me to run, I spent a long moment just paralyzed in place. It felt like an hour, but it must have been only minutes.” But when the monstrous prehistoric serpent turned its eyes to Carlos, his instincts took over, and he quickly beat feet back to the lodge proper.

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