Record 5.2m-long python caught in Florida carrying 73 eggs

Record 5.2m-long python caught in Florida carrying 73 eggs

Record 5.2m-long python caught in Florida carrying 73 eggs

The researchers said in a post on the preserve's Facebook page that the Burmese python, an invasive species in the Everglades, was the largest ever found in the 729,000-acre Big Cypress.

South Florida Water Management District said the snake catcher captured a 17-foot, 5-inch (5.3-metre) female Burmese python, which weighed in at 120 pounds.

The python contained 73 developing eggs.

Authorities said they used male pythons that were equipped with radio transmitters in an effort to track researchers to breeding females.

Researchers from the Big Cypress National Reserve posted a photo of the discovery on Facebook.

It shows a team of four researchers, standing apart from one another, holding up the big snake. In 2013, over 1,600 people registered to hunt the snakes as part of the Python Challenge, organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In recent decades, the big snakes have become a menace in Florida. The climate and the swamps outside of Miami provide the pythons with the ideal habitat to thrive.

Tens of thousands of Burmese pythons are now estimated to be living in Florida's Everglades.

The snakes began turning up in the Everglades in the 1980s, most likely abandoned by pet owners when the reptiles got too large to handle.

Pythons pose a major threat to native wildlife in the state.

To control their population, Florida even holds competitions encouraging hunters to remove as many of them as possible. The searchers, however, managed to find only 68 snakes.

The pregnant female weighed 140 pounds, though presumably some of that was egg-weight.

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