One of the largest ever pythons caught in the Florida Everglades weighs 140-pound. It is a female, 17 feet in length and has been euthanized. This was done in order to arrest their population because these reptiles fall in the category of invasive species and are a major threat to native wildlife. In order to check the growing menace of pythons in the Big Cypress National Preserve, the authorities have come up with a new method of locating the females.

Their goal is to outfit male pythons with radio transmitters so that they lead researchers to the females' breeding grounds. Once tracked, it is easy to euthanize the females and control their numbers.

Daily Mail UK reports that in this case, the female was carrying 73 developing eggs, which were destroyed.

Pythons entered the state in the 1970s as pets and over a period have become a menace. They can grow up to 20 feet long and can have a devastating effect on wildlife and the environment.

Python Elimination Program

Huge pythons keep getting caught at regular intervals. Daily Mail UK says the latest catch was `17 feet in length but in 2014, engineers in the Florida Everglades chanced upon a Burmese python that was more than 18 feet long, 18 feet 2 inches to be precise.

That was during a routine inspection of levees. However, it could not claim the state record – it fell short by 6 inches. Earlier, in 2013, a snake collector came across the largest python on record measuring 18 feet 8 inches.

These reptiles are from Southeast Asia and can reach lengths of more than 20 feet in their native habitat.

Once they land up in the wetlands of the Florida Everglades, they become a threat to indigenous species of wildlife and unless checked, could rewrite the ecosystem. Hence, there is a Python Elimination Program. Python hunters get paid for the catches and are believed to have caught more than 1,850 of them once they began to destroy Florida’s ecosystem. The authorities permit elimination of burmese pythons even without a hunting license.

Burmese pythons are a threat

According to Fox News, Pythons are native to Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central and South America and the one caught in the Big Cypress National Preserve was a 17-foot-long female. Burmese pythons came into the United States as pets, and their owners released them into the Florida Everglades when they became too big to handle. The result was the creation of a situation that is gradually going out of control.

The pythons are an invasive species and once released into the wild, have multiplied rapidly. They can thrive and spread aggressively outside their natural range and are now a major threat to the survival of native wildlife. This has a cascading effect on the ecological balance.

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