Record-setting python discovered in Florida Everglades

A massive Burmese python (Python bivittatus) weighing 140 pounds and carrying 73 developing eggs was capture in the Florida Everglades by wildlife technicians last week. The invasive snake, which was euthanized after its capture, was the largest ever discovered in the Big Cypress National Preserve, wildlife officials said — a previous hunt in 2017 bagged another 17-foot python, but that one only weighed 132 pounds. Since the snakes began appearing in the Everglades in the 1980s, they have laid waste to native wildlife like raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossum (Didelphis virginiana), bobcats (Lynx rufus), and marsh rabbits (Sylvilagus palustris), and some may be even breeding with Indian pythons (Python molurus) to form a “super snake.” Wildlife officials have also used a number of programs to try to combat the spread of the invasive reptiles, including encouraging citizens to remove any pythons they encounter and hiring experienced snake-catching contractors. Another program uses radio transmitters on male pythons, leading researchers to find females that lay eggs. 

Read more in The Washington Post. 

Header Image: Wildlife technicians hold a 17-foot, 140 pound Burmese python captured in the Everglades.
©courtesy of Big Cypress National Preserve