A team of biologists recently caught the heaviest Burmese python ever caught in Florida, officials said.
The Southwest Florida Reserve said in a news release that Python weighed 215 pounds, was about 18 feet long, and had 122 developing eggs.
The team used radio transmitters transplanted into male “scout” snakes to study python movement, reproductive behavior, and habitat use, said Ian Bartoszek, a wildlife biologist and environmental science project manager. I am saying.
“How do you find a needle in a haystack? You can also use a magnet. In a similar way, a male scout snake is attracted to the largest female around,” Bartoszek said.
The team used a scout snake named Dionysus (Dion for short) in the western region of the Everglades.
“We knew he was there for a reason, and the team found him with the biggest woman we’ve ever seen.”
Biologist Ian Easterling and intern Kyle Findley helped capture female snakes and transport them to field trucks through the woods.
Autopsy also found a hoof core in the snake’s digestive system. This means that the adult white-tailed deer was the last meal.
National Geographic records this finding and highlights the continued impact of the invasive python, known for its rapid breeding and depletion of surrounding wildlife.
Bartoszek said the removal of female pythons plays an important role in disrupting the reproductive cycle.
“This is a wildlife issue in our time in southern Florida,” he said.
Since its inception in 2013, the Conservancy Python program has removed more than 1,000 Python from about 100 square miles in southwestern Florida.
Within that range, autopsy revealed dozens of white-tailed deer in the Burmese python. Data researchers at the University of Florida have recorded 24 mammal species, 47 bird species, and 2 reptiles from the stomach of the snake snake.
Prior to the recent discovery, the largest woman removed by the reserve program weighed 185 pounds and was the heaviest python captured at the time in Florida, officials said.
The state Python removal program will run for two weeks in August. Participants will compete for prizes, including $ 2,500 to catch the most pythons.
More than 600 people from 25 states participated in last year’s agenda.