Researchers In Florida Remove Nearly 20-Foot Long Snake From Preserve

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"The eggs were destroyed and the snake was euthanized", Rita Garcia, a spokeswoman for Big Cypress Preserve told Fox News.

Thousands of Burmese pythons live in the wild all over South Florida, according to a National Park Service fact sheet.

In the Florida Everglades, a team of invasive species researchers got more than they bargained for - a 17-foot-long python, plus 73 developing python eggs.

The Burmese python is native to Southeast Asia, but in recent decades the big snakes have become a slithering menace in Florida.

The researchers caught this behemoth by using male pythons equipped with radio transmitters, which, they say, "allows the team to track the male to locate breeding females".

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The record-breaking python outweighs a female captured in Big Cypress in December 2017 by snake hunter Jason Leon, which measured 17ft 1in and weighed 132lb, according to the Miami Herald. Some pythons grow as much as 20 feet long.

The invasive species are numerous and lethal - they kill animals and birds by squeezing them until they pass out. While studies have shown populations of raccoons have dropped by 99.3 per cent, opossums by 98.9 per cent and bobcats by 87.5 per cent in the areas of the Everglades where pythons have been established longest.

"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.

The state has also sponsored removal programs with prize incentives, such as the Python Pickup Program and regular public hunts.