Longest Python, 17-Foot Found In Florida
According to Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve, a 17-ft. female Burmese python, containing 73 developing eggs, was found slithering around the national preserve.
“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,” the national preserve, located in the swampland of southwest Florida, posted on Facebook, along with a shot of four people holding up the lengthy snake.
Big Cypress is focused on finding and eliminating pythons from the national preserve, especially breeding females, because the reptile is an invasive species “which poses significant threats to native wildlife.”
According to CNN, the Burmese python, native to Southeast Asia, started appearing in the Florida Everglades — a hot, humid habitat ideal for the foreign species — in the 1980s. It is believed that the snakes were introduced into the area by pet owners who abandoned the reptiles when they became too big to care for at home. More snakes likely entered the area after Hurricane Andrew hit a python breeding facility in 1992.
The “new approach” that led to the capture of this enormous python involves outfitting male pythons with radio transmitters.
“Using male pythons with radio transmitters allows the team to track the male to locate breeding females,” the national preserve added on Facebook. “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.”
It was one of these transmitting males that led the preserve’s researchers to the impressive female, who weighed 140 pounds.