Jun 29, 2022
In this corner, weighing in at 215 pounds, stretching 18 feet from end to end, the Slithering Sultan of Swamps, the Record-breaking Reptile of Ruin, the Endangering Enemy of the Everglades, a Burmese python!
Think of it: a snake as long as two garage doors. It's as heavy as a refrigerator or washing machine. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida last week confirmed that a python the group caught last December was the heaviest ever recorded in the state. She carried 122 eggs. That's another Florida record.
The serpent didn’t go down without a fight. She smacked a biologist in the face with her tail. An intern was nearly hit. The team wrestled with the snake for 20 minutes before they finally captured her. The snake was put down.
“She put up a pretty good fight,” the biologist who suffered the uppercut told Yahoo News.
The size of this huge snake shows how big of a problem these creatures have become in South Florida. They’re not a native species. The snakes came to the region 40 years ago through the exotic pet trade. Some who bought these pythons carelessly released them into the wild. They did that because the snakes got too big.
Now Pythons threaten the entire ecosystem of the Everglades. They’ve bumped off alligators as the area's number one predator. The Florida panther is now endangered. The snakes eat the cat’s major food source, white-tailed deer. (The remains of one were found inside the belly of this snake, by the way.)
Conservationists estimate there may be more than 100,000 pythons in Florida. About 1,000 have been caught.
Photo from The Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Press Conference.