Officials at a South Florida wildlife preserve say they've captured the largest python ever found in the park.
Scientists have caught a female python in the U.S. state of Florida that was more than 17-feet-long, weighed 140 pounds and contained 73 developing eggs, the media reported. Moreover, not only does the team remove the invasive snakes but they also collect data to develop to learn how the snakes are using the preserve and develop new removal tools.
The team found the python by using a new approach in which researchers track male pythons by using radio transmitters.
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".
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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. More snakes likely entered the area after Hurricane Andrew hit a python breeding facility in 1992.
Florida has used other methods to manage the python population, including encouraging the humane killing of pythons on private property and at 22 wildlife management areas, including Big Cypress.
To control their population, Florida holds competitions that encourages hunters to remove as many of them as possible.
In this instance, it led the hunters to a record-breaking snake. The searchers, however, managed to find only 68 snakes. Not only did her size break records, she also had a record number of eggs.