08 April 2019
Miami: Scientists have caught a female python in the US state of Florida that was more than 17-feet-long, weighed 140 pounds and contained 73 developing eggs, the media reported.
The snake is the largest python ever removed from Big Cypress National Preserve, a 729,000-acre expanse of swampland west of Miami in South Florida, CNN reported on Sunday citing a statement on the preserve's Facebook page.
The post was accompanied by a picture that showed a team of four researchers, standing apart from one another, holding up the gigantic reptile.
While pythons of all sizes have been found in the Everglades, most of them are between six and 10 feet long. The largest one was over 18 feet long and weighed more than 100 pounds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
This latest find was possible after the Big Cypress' rangers used new tracking technology.
"Using male pythons with radio transmitters allows the team to track the male to locate breeding females," the Facebook statement said.
"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."
In recent decades, the big snakes have become a menace in Florida. The Everglades is a vast area with a tropical climate perfect for pythons to hide and thrive, CNN reported.
State wildlife officials estimate there are as many as 100,000 pythons living in the vast swamps outside Miami. The snakes pose significant threats to native wildlife.
To control their population, Florida even holds competitions encouraging hunters to remove as many of them as possible.