215-Pound Burmese Python Captured In Florida
By: Annie Huang
On June 22nd, 2022, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida revealed they had captured a 215-pound female Burmese python in Everglades National Park which surpassed the previous record. The previous record was a 185-pound python captured in Naples, Florida, in 2021.
The python measured 18 feet long and is the heaviest Burmese python ever to be caught in the state.
Furthermore, studies reveal that the snake carried 122 developing eggs which were the most ever found in a female python during a breeding cycle.
Ian Bartoszek, the Conservancy’s environmental science project manager told others, “The removal of female pythons plays a critical role in disrupting the breeding cycle of these apex predators that are wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem and taking food sources from other native species. This is the wildlife issue of our time for southern Florida.”
Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia and were first-ever brought to the United States as exotic pets. However, after a category 5 storm: Hurricane Andrew, struck in Florida in 1992, destroyed a nearby breeding facility, and released many snakes into a swamp. Due to this, reptiles have been believed to have established a stronghold in the Everglades ecosystem by killing most of the protected species in the wildlife.
The reptiles have tremendous abilities to reproduce and many Florida officials have long given up trying to eliminate the invasive reptiles. Instead, they curtail their spread with many methods, such as using python scouts like snake sniffing dogs as well as holding an annual “Python Challenge” every year.
This event lasts two weeks and is a competition that invites experts and amateurs to hunt down as many snakes as possible in exchange for money. In 2021, the “Python Challenge” helped remove over 223 Burmese pythons from the Everglades.