The Burmese python is one of the largest snakes in the world. But even by python standards, this one was colossal.
Scientists caught a female python in the Florida Everglades that was more than 17 feet long, weighed 140 pounds and contained 73 developing eggs.
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, according to a statement Friday on the preserve’s Facebook page.
While pythons of all sizes have been found in the Everglades, most of them are between 6 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.
Still, this latest find is impressive. Big Cypress’ rangers credit research and new tracking technology with making it possible.
“Using male pythons with radio transmitters allows the team to track the male to locate breeding females,” their statement says. “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.”