Encountering a snake is never pleasant but imagine coming across one that’s 215 lbs. and 18 ft long. That’s the size of the Burmese Python that was captured in Florida on Thursday.
Apparently, the female snake had been slithering around the Florida Everglades when biologists found her by using a male python named Dionysus who was outfitted with a radio transmitter.
Researchers from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida wrestled with her for 20 minutes before she was subdued and eventually killed.
“We knew he (Dionysus) was there for a reason, and the team found him with the largest female we have seen to date,” said state biologist Ian Bartoszek.
The python, who was about the size of a giraffe when stretched out, was discovered to be pregnant with a whopping 122 eggs. Her last meal was an entire white-tailed deer.
She was estimated to be about 20 years old.
She beats the record for largest snake caught in the area topping a 16 ft. 140 lb., male previously captured nearby.
Pythons have long been seen as pests in the Florida area. With no major predators, they tend to thrive on native species.
They are often found in the Florida area due to irresponsible pet owners who released them or allowed them to escape. They are well suited to the state’s subtropical climate.
Researchers have been hunting pythons in Florida for over 10 years to save the eco-system.
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida was established in 2013 and has since removed over 1000 pythons from a 100 square mile region in southwest Florida.
Florida also hosts an annual contest known as the “Python Challenge” which calls on the public for help hunting pythons. This year it will run from August 5-14. It’s expected to draw about 600 participants from 25 states.
Prizes are given out including a $2500 reward for most snakes captured and a $1500 reward for longest snake caught.
Last year’s winners included one hunter that caught 223 pythons and another that caught a serpent 15 feet long.