Tracking male pythons leads hunters to massive pregnant Burmese python

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The female snake, the largest ever to be removed from Big Cypress National Preserve, weighed 63.5kg and was carrying 73 developing eggs.

In December 2017, snake hunter Jason Leon caught a 17-foot female Burmese python at Big Cypress that set a record.

"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", officials said.

Male pythons are tagged with radio transmitters, allowing researchers to track the male as it moves toward breeding females.


"The team tracked one of the sentinel males with the transmitter and found this massive female nearby", the park said on Facebook.

The preserve posted a photograph of four researchers holding up the giant reptile in the 729,000-acre swampland expanse west of Miami.

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

Tens of thousands of Burmese pythons are now estimated to be living in Florida's Everglades. The Everglades is a vast area with a tropical climate ideal for pythons to hide and thrive, CNN reported.


Still, this latest find is impressive.

The Burmese python is native to Southeast Asia and was introduced to Florida in the 1990s, when people released their overgrown pets into the wild.

As the species poses grave threat to wildlife, Big Cypress is taking necessary measures to control their population.

The pregnant female weighed 140 pounds, though presumably some of that was egg-weight. The searchers found only 68 snakes.


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