The massive snake measured almost 18 feet long and weighed 215 pounds
Biologists with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida have captured a state-record Burmese python measuring almost 18 feet long and weighing 215 pounds.
According to Fox35orlando.com, its size isn't the only record breaker. During a necropsy, researchers discovered a record 122 eggs inside the female snake.
"Furthermore, an assessment of the snake's digestive contents found hoof cores, determining an adult white-tailed deer - a primary food source of the endangered Florida panther - to be the snake's last meal," a spokesman for the conservancy said.
Ian Bartoszek, a wildlife biologist and project manager for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, said, "The removal of female pythons plays a critical role in disrupting the breeding cycle of these apex predators that are wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem and taking food sources from other native species."
The conservancy has removed more than 1,000 pythons from Southwest Florida. Before the capture of this most recent record-breaking snake, the largest python removed through the conservancy's program weighed 185 pounds.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the average size of a Burmese python removed in Florida is typically 8 to 10 feet in length, but Burmese pythons can grow to 26 feet and weigh more than 200 pounds.
Those who want to help rid the state of this invasive species can participate in the 2022 Florida Python Challenge, which runs Aug. 5 through Aug. 14. Participants will be competing for cash prizes. Visit flpythonchallenge.org for more info.