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Florida’s Biggest Python So Far Measured 17 Feet, 7 Inches; Had 87 Eggs

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
August 14, 2012

She was about three feet longer than the distance from an NBA free throw line to the basket. She was a bit more than twice the height of many bedroom ceilings. You could park two Mini Coopers beside her with a foot or so to spare.

Those are some ways to get a sense of just how big the biggest Burmese python discovered so far in Florida was.

University of Florida researchers say the snake was 17 feet, 7 inches long — about a foot more than the previous Florida record-holder. She weighed 164.5 pounds. And inside was another record find: 87 eggs. The previous record “clutch” was 85.

The Palm Beach Post says the snake was “initially captured March 6 and returned to the wild days later after being fitted with two radio transmitters and other devices to track its movements. … The snake was recaptured April 19 and euthanized shortly afterward.”

Researchers at Everglades National Park are studying such snakes in an attempt to figure out how to manage them. As the Post adds:

“Pythons have become a huge issue for state wildlife managers. They’re aggressive enough to consume most other species they come into contact with — even deer and alligators. About 1,800 pythons have been removed from the park and nearby areas since 2002.”

According to the university, “native to Southeast Asia and first found in the Everglades in 1979, the Burmese python is one of the deadliest and most competitive predators in South Florida. With no known natural predator, population estimates for the python range from the thousands to hundreds of thousands. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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