Here’s one great reason to be careful in the Florida Everglades: the potential for coming across an extremely large Burmese python.
Scientists captured a 17-foot-long female python in the Big Cypress National Preserve outside of Miami, Florida. The female snake has set a new record for the largest snake ever removed from the preserve. She weighed 140 pounds, and she contained 73 eggs.
Burmese pythons are an invasive species in the Everglades, which is why scientists removed this enormous snake. They say new research and tracking technology made her capture possible.
Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia.
They began populating Florida in the 1980s, likely due to pet owners who abandoned the snakes when they got too big to handle. The animals now pose a major threat to native wildlife.
A statement from the preserve says:
“The team not only removes the invasive snakes, but collects data for research, develop[s] new removal tools, and learn[s] how the pythons are using the Preserve. … All of the python work at Big Cypress is focused on controlling this invasive species, which poses significant threats to native wildlife.”
It took four researchers just to hold up the female python for a photo.
There are as many as 100,000 pythons in the Everglades. Most are not quite this enormous, but they’re still huge — typically between 6 and 10 feet long.
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