A female Burmese python captured recently in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve is the largest ever removed from there, the park announced on Facebook.
She stretched to more than 17 feet long and weighed 140 pounds, the preserve said on Friday. She was also carrying, gulp, 73 developing eggs.
A team was able to put the squeeze on the female snake by tracking male pythons that had been equipped with radio transmitters. With the new strategy, the team has been able to “locate and remove several breeding female pythons over the past few months,” the preserve said.
“The team not only removes the invasive snakes, but collects data for research,” Big Cypress wrote.
Tens of thousands of Burmese pythons now inhabit South Florida, according to the United States Geological Survey. The agency notes that while the overall risk of fatal attack is low, if you see a python in the wild, treat it with the same caution you’d give an alligator: Do not get close or try to interact with it.
A hunter in the Everglades snared an 18-foot male in December.