Record 5.2m-long python caught in Florida carrying 73 eggs

Record 5.2m-long python caught in Florida carrying 73 eggs

Record 5.2m-long python caught in Florida carrying 73 eggs

A team at Big Cypress National Preserve caught a 17-foot 140-pound female python, the longest python ever caught in the Everglades, the Guardian reports.

In the Florida Everglades, a team of invasive species researchers got more than they bargained for - a 17-foot-long python, plus 73 developing python eggs. 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.

They found the record-breaking python using a new, and intuitive, tracking method - following male pythons on their quests for female mates.

Florida's warm, subtropical climate and the Everglades' abundance of edible wildlife provided a ideal environment for the snakes to flourish. Her "boyfriend", as many outlets reported, is what led the hunters to the expectant mother.

State wildlife officials estimate there are as many as 100,000 pythons living in the vast swamps outside Miami. The Everglades is a vast area with a tropical climate ideal for pythons to hide and thrive, CNN reported.

While this latest find is impressive, it's not the biggest python to have been discovered in the Florida Everglades.

Big Cypress National Preserve occupies 729,000 acres of swampland west of Miami and adjacent to the Everglades.

To control their population, the state even holds competitions encouraging people to remove as many of them as possible, according to CNN. The searchers found only 68 snakes.

Some pet pythons also might have escaped from a breeding facility destroyed during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

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