Florida researchers bag record 17-foot python

Florida researchers bag record 17-foot python

Florida researchers bag record 17-foot python

Burmese pythons were brought to Florida in the 1970s as pets - however, some were released into the wild, and have since multiplied to great numbers, threatening the survival of local animals.

The 17-foot (5.1-meter), 140-pound (63.5-kilogram) female snake - an invasive species devastating to native wildlife - was discovered using a new tracking approach that leans on technology and the laws of attraction.

The Big Cypress National Preserve is a 729,000-acre expanse of swampland west of Miami in South Florida. The climate and the swamps outside of Miami provide the pythons with the flawless habitat to thrive.

State wildlife officials estimate there are as many as 100,000 pythons - which are native to Southeast Asia - living in the Florida swamps outside Miami.

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"The team tracked one of the sentinel males with the transmitter and found this massive female nearby", the park said on Facebook. The news came to light when Big Cypress posted a photo of 4 men holding the snake from head to tail. Moreover, not only does the team remove the invasive snakes but they also collect data to develop to learn how the snakes are using the preserve and develop new removal tools.

Scientists said that the python is the largest ever removed from Big Cypress National Preserve, located in South Florida.

The inaugural Python Challenge was organised in 2013 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and some 1,600 people had registered for this.

To control their population, Florida even holds competitions encouraging hunters to remove as many of them as possible. The searchers found only 68 snakes.

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