Researchers say they’ve captured the largest female python in the Everglades’ Big Cypress National Preserve: A massive, 17-foot-long snake that weighed 140 pounds and contained 73 developing eggs.
The giant female python, which was removed from the Florida-based nature area, required four people to carry it. Researchers posted a shocking photo of the snake on Facebook and said it set a new record for the Big Cypress National Preserve.
“She is the largest python ever removed from Big Cypress National Preserve and she was caught because of research and a new approach to finding pythons,” Big Cypress National Preserve said on Facebook. Rita Garcia, a spokesperson for the Big Cypress National Preserve, said the eggs were destroyed and the snake was euthanized.
The researchers use male pythons that wear radio transmitters to locate breeding female pythons, Fox News reported. Once female pythons are found, they are removed from the area in order to control the invasive species, since they could be threatening to native wildlife. Pythons typically come from Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
According to the Big Cypress National Preserve, researchers collect new data and aim to analyze how the pythons use the nature area. The focus of python work at the Big Cypress National Preserve is to find new ways to prevent these invasive species from disturbing native animals’ habitats.
“The Resource Management staff would like to thank all of the Preserve divisions that have supported the python program,” Big Cypress National Preserve said in the Facebook post. “Their support, along with the tireless efforts of our partners at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), have allowed us to locate and remove several breeding female pythons over the past few months.”