Everglades Burmese python: Largest in state history found with a record 87 eggs

A monster Burmese python captured in the Everglades has broken the state size record, stretching 17 feet, 7 inches, with its belly bursting with 87 eggs, the University of Florida announced Monday.

The snake was brought to the Florida Museum of Natural History last Friday for examination from Everglades National Park. After the snake is examined, it will be mounted for exhibition at the museum for five years and then returned for exhibition to the park.

"This thing is monstrous, it's about a foot wide," said Kenneth Krysko, manager of the museum's rpetology collection manager Kenneth Krysko. "It means these snakes are surviving a long time in the wild, there's nothing stopping them and the native wildlife are in trouble."

Feathers were found in the snake's stomach, and these will be examined by the museum's ornithologists. The number of eggs was also a state record.

Burmese pythons, native to southern Asia, have established a breeding population in Everglades National Park, arriving in the United States via the exotic pet industry. Park officials are worried about their consumption of wildlife and competition with native predators.

"A 17.5-foot snake could eat anything it wants," Krysko said. "By learning what this animal has been eating and its reproductive status, it will hopefully give us insight into how to potentially manage other wild Burmese pythons in the future.
 

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