Largest Burmese python in Florida history discovered in the Everglades

Largest Burmese python in Florida history discovered in the Everglades

NAPLES, Fla. – – A record-breaking Burmese python found in the Everglades is now the largest documented of its species found in Florida, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida announced Wednesday.

The female python measures nearly 18 feet long, weighs 215 pounds, and was found with 122 developing eggs in its abdomen officials said.

Biologists used “scout snakes” to find the oversized python which works by implanting radio transmitters into male snakes to help wildlife officials understand the patterns and movement of the animal.

“How do you find the needle in the haystack? You could use a magnet, and in a similar way our male scout snakes are attracted to the biggest females around,” said Ian Bartoszek, wildlife biologist and environmental science project manager for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

The scout snakes led biologists to the discovery of the now largest Burmese python in Florida history.

The Burmese python is an invasive species in Florida and is known for rapid reproduction and depletion of native wildlife, officials said.

“The removal of female pythons plays a critical role in disrupting the breeding cycle of these apex predators that are wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem and taking food sources from other native species,” Bartoszek said.

Since 2013 the Conservancy has removed more than 1,000 pythons from the southwest Florida area.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Burmese pythons can be humanely killed on private lands at any time with landowner permission and without a permit.

Largest Burmese python in Florida history discovered in the Everglades

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