An Everglades record: largest female python captured in Big Cypress

An Everglades record: largest female python captured in Big Cypress

An Everglades record: largest female python captured in Big Cypress

Researchers use male pythons wearing radio transmitters to find breeding grounds. Rita Garcia, a spokesperson for the Big Cypress National Preserve, said the eggs were destroyed and the snake was euthanized.

A research team in Big Cypress National Preserve found and removed a female python that was over 17 feet long and weighed 140 pounds, the largest ever seen in the area, according to the preserve's Facebook page.

In 2013, a snake collector in the state discovered the largest python on record there, measuring 18 feet 8 inches.

Agencies responsible for managing the Everglades stage regular public python hunts and a year ago recorded their 1,000th kill, by a hunter who bagged more than 100.

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The preserve said the new approach includes using male pythons that have been equipped with transmitters that help lead researchers to breeding females.

Burmese pythons caught in Florida are often six to 10 feet long, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Pythons are native to Southeast Asia, Africa and Central and South America. The Everglades is a vast area with a tropical climate ideal for pythons to hide and thrive.

All of the python work at big Cyprus is repeatedly focused on controlling invasive species which pose threats to native wildlife.

Python hunters are said to have caught more than 1,850 of the snakes in the area after they started to wreak havoc on Florida's ecosystem. The searchers found only 68 snakes. Burmese pythons were first spotted in the Everglades in the 1980s, and the population grew in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

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