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Florida men catch python believed to be the biggest in the state’s history

Pythons have become pests in Florida as invasive snakes with no major predators, out-competing native species.

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(SWNS)

By Harrison Moore via SWNS

A whopping 216-pound python has been caught in Florida - believed to be the biggest in the state's history.

Experts caught the 18-foot female in December 2021, after using a male like a "magnet" to track it down.

The Burmese python was discovered in the Everglades, where biologists wrestled with it for 20 minutes.

The snake was eventually captured and killed, before being put in a freezer for several months.

It is estimated that she was up to 20 years old when caught, and was the approximate height of a giraffe if stretched out vertically.

(SWNS)

Pythons have become pests in Florida as invasive snakes with no major predators, out-competing native species.

Wildlife biologist Ian Bartoszek said: “This season we tracked a male scout snake to a region of the western Everglades that he frequented for several weeks.

"We knew he was there for a reason, and the team found him with the largest female we have seen to date.

"The removal of female pythons plays a critical role in disrupting the breeding cycle of these apex predators.

"They are wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem and taking food sources from other native species.

(SWNS)

“This is the wildlife issue of our time for southern Florida.”

The snake was dissected in April.

It was found to have 122 eggs developing in its abdomen - breaking the record for the most eggs produced by a female during a breeding cycle.

'Hoof cores' also found inside the snake’s stomach indicated that a white-tailed deer was the beast’s last meal before it was caught.

(SWNS)

The historic capture was announced by the Conservancy of South West Florida's python removal program, which began in 2013.

To date, the organization has removed over 1,000 pythons in a 100-square-mile area in southwestern Florida, it said.

Prior to the latest finding, the heaviest female python found in the state weighed 83kg, the group added.

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