Biologists Remove Record-Breaking, 215-Pound Python From Florida Everglades

The whopping female was carrying 122 developing eggs.

wildife biologists with a female Burmese python weighing 215 pounds
Photo: Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Woah, mama!

A team of wildlife biologists with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida captured an eight-foot-long, 215-pound female Burmese python loaded with 122 developing eggs. The monster reptile is the biggest ever caught in the state.

The record-breaking snake was located deep in the woods of Picayune Strand State Forest in the Everglades. Biologists were led to the female by a radio-equipped male "scout" snake named Dion.

"How do you find the needle in the haystack? You could use a magnet, and in a similar way our male scout snakes are attracted to the biggest females around," Ian Bartoszek, wildlife biologist and environmental science project manager for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, said in a news release. "This season we tracked a male scout snake named Dionysus, or Dion, to a region of the western Everglades that he frequented for several weeks. We knew he was there for a reason, and the team found him with the largest female we have seen to date."

The team was able to capture the record-sized female and haul it through the woods to the field truck.

Pythons are an invasive species known for rapid reproduction and depletion of surrounding native wildlife.

"The removal of female pythons plays a critical role in disrupting the breeding cycle of these apex predators that are wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem and taking food sources from other native species," Bartoszek added. "This is the wildlife issue of our time for southern Florida."

According to USA Today, the python was humanely euthanized shortly after capture. Her carcass and tissue will be used for science.

Since the Conservancy's python program was established in 2013, it has removed over 1,000 pythons—weighing more than 26,000 pounds—from approximately 100 square miles in southwestern Florida.

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