Massive python caught in South Florida

Massive python caught in South Florida

A team at Big Cypress National Preserve caught a 17-foot 140-pound female python, the longest python ever caught in the Everglades, the Guardian reports.

Most of the pythons that have been found in the Everglades are between 6 and 10 feet long - with the largest one measured at over 18 feet long and weighing more than 100 pounds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

As well as removing invasive snakes, Big Cypress said it uses each discovery to collect data for research, develop new removal tools and learn how pythons are using the area.

"Using male pythons with radio transmitters allows the team to track the male to locate breeding females".

It shows a team of four researchers, standing apart from one another, holding up the enormous snake. "They will kind of circle an area and that way the scientists will know that male has found a female ready to breed, and that's exactly what this lead to", python hunter and founder of Swamp Apes Tom Rahill said.

Florida's warm, subtropical climate and the Everglades' abundance of edible wildlife provided a flawless environment for the snakes to flourish.

As the species poses grave threat to wildlife, Big Cypress is taking necessary measures to control their population. Pet owners either release them on objective when they get too big, or by accident when hurricanes sweep through the state.

About 1,600 people registered for the 2013 inaugural Python Challenge, which was organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The searchers, however, managed to find only 68 snakes.

The python population is thought to originate from pets released by owners when they got too large, and has been growing since the 1980s, while a breeding facility destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 also contributed.

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