17-foot, 140-pound female python was captured by researchers, setting a record for the largest python to be removed from the Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.
Officials with the reserve posted an image of the beast they captured in the Florida Everglades, showcasing the mind-boggling size of the python.“She is the largest python ever removed from Big Cypress National Preserve and she was caught because of research and a new approach to finding pythons,” Authorities said they used male pythons that were equipped with radio transmitters in an effort to track researchers to breeding females.“The team tracked one of the sentinel males with the transmitter and found this massive female nearby,” researchers said in a statement. This enormous female was also found to contain 73 developing eggs.“The team not only removes the invasive snakes, but collects data for research, develops new removal tools, and learns how the pythons are using the preserve,” officials said.
The Burmese python is native to Southeast Asia and was introduced to Florida in the 1990s, when people released their overgrown pets into the wild. Damage from Hurricane Andrew also allowed some snakes to escape from captivity. Florida’s warm, subtropical climate and the Everglades’ abundance of edible wildlife provided a perfect environment for the snakes to flourish. Last year, a trapper also captured a monster of a python in the Everglades. South Florida Water Management District said the snake catcher captured a 17-foot, 5-inch (5.3-metre) female Burmese python, which weighed in at 120 pounds.