A Massive Burmese Python Caught in Everglades Might Have Been a Pet Released Into the Wild

Yana Bostongirl

Wikipedia describes the Burmese python as "a dark-colored non-venomous snake with many brown blotches bordered by black down the back. In the wild, Burmese pythons typically grow to 5 m (16 ft)." One of the largest species of snakes, it is native to countries such as India, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

It is considered to be an invasive species in the Florida Everglades where it preys on the local rabbit, opossum, and white-tailed deer populations. The onslaught of the Burmese python can be traced back to the introduction of the Asian reptiles during the mid-'90s as part of the booming pet trade. Per reports, up to 90,000 snakes were believed to have been imported into the US between the time period of 1996 and 2006.

Recently, a massive 18-foot-long female Burmese python was caught by conservancy biologists in Picayune Strand State Forest in Florida's Collier County. At the time of capture, the python weighed a whopping 215 pounds and was carrying 122 eggs.

Some experts suggest that this python may have been a former pet that was released into the wild.

Per reports, it had fed on a white-tailed deer, which is normally considered the food for the endangered panthers in the area as further described by wildlife biologist, Ian Bartoszek: “These are big-game hunters … The last meal this animal had was a white-tailed deer – this is panther food.”

An excerpt from USA Today elaborates on the measures to bring down the population of the invasive species in the Florida Everglades: "Over the past 10 years, the Conservancy’s team has removed 26,000 pounds of pythons – some 1,000 snakes – from 100 square miles. “But how many more are there? Is that 10%? Is that one percent? We don’t know (but) we’re actively pulling them out and working with research partners to see if we can better get at that metric and move the science forward.”

The article says that the captured Burmese python was euthanized by a humane and veterinarian-approved method shortly after being caught.

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