When it comes to the giant python, Florida is literally being overrun by the large snakes. So when researchers ran into the giant snake in Everglades National Park, they killed it. But the real question is, does it beat the current record for a giant python in Florida?
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a giant python in Missouri was killed in one man’s backyard after residents had reported a number of dogs and chickens gone missing.
Burmese pythons are native to southern Asia, and they are capable of growing more than 18 feet, or 5.5 meters, in length. In their native land, they are known to reach 20 feet. Unfortunately, their population has exploded over the years after snake owners released their pet snakes into the wild.
Based upon the rise of the giant python, Florida researchers say certain mammal species have begun to decline in their own population. Due to this issue, the Burmese python is now considered an invasive species, and every year, Florida’s python snake hunting contest has people searching the Everglades National Park.
While researching the giant python, Florida researchers also found the giant snake inhabits an area which span more than 390 square miles, or 1,000 square kilometers. By using radio tracking beacons, they also discovered the Burmese python has the ability to track its way home.
“We were very surprised by the findings,” study co-author Shannon Pittman, a postdoctoral researcher at Davidson College, told Live Science. “We were expecting the snakes to display wandering movements but then develop home ranges closer to where we released them. It might mean that they could crisscross areas of inhospitable habitat at a greater frequency than we might expect based on what habitat is good.”
This means the Burmese pythons are apparently sticking to their known habitat in Florida. So, the University of Florida researchers who found the giant python recently at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park were only somewhat surprised by the discovery.
“They finished their survey and kind of looked at each other and said let’s take one more turn around Shark River,” UF Professor Frank Mazzotti said, according to the Miami Herald. “I’m sure they were pretty excited.”
They measured Florida’s giant python and discovered it was a female which measured 18 feet, three inches, and weighed 133 pounds.
“It’s a top 1 percent, but it’s also within the known size range. So we expect over time to encounter these large animals,” said Tylan Dean, chief of the park’s biological research branch.
Dean also said the Everglades National Park does not track the sizes of captured giant python in Florida. However, Florida state officials do keep track of the measurements, and it turns out in 2013, a Florida man killed a 19-foot-long giant python with a knife.
So, when it comes to this new giant python, Florida still does not have a new record holder? As it turns out, the 19-foot-long male python weighed 128 pounds, while the newest female discovery tipped the scales at 133 pounds. The new weight record goes to the female giant snake, and a necropsy revealed it did not have any eggs, so it’s not an unfair contest.
[Image via the Miami Herald]