South Florida officials seized a record-breaking 18-foot 4-inch Burmese python at Big Cypress National Wildlife Refuge last month as part of an ongoing effort to remove invasive species from the state of Sunny State.
Cynthia Downer and September 22 Jonathan Lopez of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission captured a 98-pound 10-ounce snake. The commission announced Friday.
This is the largest snake ever caught by the team and the largest trapped in the Great Cypress Reserve. It's also the second largest python ever caught in the wild in Florida, and just four inches smaller than the longest wild python ever captured in Florida.
According to Fox 13 Tampa, the largest python ever caught in Florida was captured in 2013. The female python was over 18 feet 8 inches long and weighed 128 pounds.
"Capturing large adult females is critically important because it prevents them from potentially adding to the population an average of 30 to 60 hatchings each time they are bred."
"These snakes, in combination with the thousands removed by our partners in the National Park Service and the South Florida Water Management Area, have a significant impact on the protection of native Florida wildlife," said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton. "With the leadership of Governor Ron Desantis, we are ready to partner with our partners […] to achieve our goal of exporting pythons from our beautiful state."
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Environmentalists say Burmese pythons are responsible for killing many animals. Their presence in the wild is the result of snakes escaping or being released from homes where humans keep them as pets.
FWC also announced on Friday that its Python action group captured its 900th Burmese python on September 24 in the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor, a wildlife management site in Miami-Dade County. This snake weighed only a quarter pound and measured just over two feet.
The public can help by reporting the appearance of snakes on the Internet, using the "IVEGOT1" app or by calling the exotic species hotline at 888-IveGot1 (888-483-4681), the commission added.
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