She is enormous, invasive, and scaled: A Burmese python measuring 18 feet long and weighing 215 pounds was caught in Florida.
Florida Conservationist Capture 215 Pound Python
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida declared the python to be the largest ever captured in the state on Wednesday.
The conservancy’s research effort on Burmese python invasion included capturing the enormous snake.
Biologists found the female by tracking a male “scout snake” named Dionysus with a radio transmitter.
According to the conservancy, males are drawn to the larger females. So they may locate and get rid of enormous breeding females and their eggs by following a breeding male like Dionysus.
The enormous female python was caught last December and put to death before being transported back to the team’s field truck by project manager Ian Bartoszek, biologist Ian Easterling, and intern Kyle Findley.
When they weighed the snake at the lab, according to Bartoszek, they discovered just how big she really was. When they found she weighed a massive 215 pounds, surpassing the previous record of 185 pounds for a Burmese python seized in Florida, there was “collective shock.”
But the opportunity for researchers to conduct a necropsy on the snake wasn’t available until April 28, some months later. With 122 growing eggs in her tummy, she had the most eggs ever found, shattering yet another record, it was discovered.
Southeast Asia is home to the Burmese python, which is threatened by extinction there due to overhunting.
However, since the 1980s, renegade pet snakes who either escaped or were released into the wild have developed a population in the Florida Everglades.
According to Bartoszek, the pythons pose a threat to Florida’s native wildlife as an invasive species.
Authorities in the state of Florida have taken steps to reduce the number, such as holding a yearly competition called the “Python Challenge” to see who can capture and kill the most snakes.
According to Bartoszek, there are “no other Everglades in the world.” The invading pythons are endangering this “unique bioregion, it’s a jewel.”
One indication of how pythons harm Florida’s natural species is the 215-pound female python’s stomach, which was found to contain hoof fragments from a white-tailed deer.
The endangered native panthers of Florida depend heavily on white-tailed deer for sustenance.
According to Bartoszek, the python “is a generalist predator.” It is nondiscriminatory.
According to Bartoszek, his three-person team is aiming to minimize and control the Burmese python population by eliminating breeding females, even though for the time being “eradication seems off the table.”
They have exterminated almost 1,000 pythons, totaling 26,000 pounds in weight, during the previous 11 years from a small area of the Everglades covering around 100 square miles.
The season’s “MVP — most prized python,” according to Bartoszek, is Dionysus, the scout snake who guided the researchers to the record-breaking female.
He directed the squad to four more female Burmese pythons, which were killed and taken away.
We’re not here for praise, he declared. We are here to spread awareness of this problem.
He continued, saying that the scientists “had reverence for this species. They are a really unique species.”
We’re sort of for the conservation of our native fauna, and we’re on the science side,” Bartoszek remarked.