Scientists caught a 17-foot, 140-pound Burmese python in the Florida Everglades, the largest ever removed from the Big Cypress National Preserve, according to a statement Friday (April 5th) on the preserve's Facebook page. The female python also contained 73 developing eggs. Most of the as many as 100,000 estimated pythons living in the Everglades are between six and 10 feet long, while the largest one ever found was over 18 feet long and more than 100 pounds. The Burmese python is native to Southeast Asia, and is one of the invasive species of pythons that began showing up in the Everglades in the 1980s, most likely abandoned by pet owners. Scientists search for them as part of the effort to control their population, and Florida holds competitions encouraging hunters to remove as many of them as possible.
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