News24

Record Burmese python caught in Florida

2012-08-14 07:31

West Palm Beach - The biggest Burmese python ever caught in Florida - 5.18m long and 74.4kg - was found in Everglades National Park, the University of Florida announced on Monday.

The snake was pregnant with 87 eggs, also said to be a record. Scientists said the python's stats show just how pervasive the invasive snakes, which are native to Southeast Asia, have become in South Florida.

"It means these snakes are surviving a long time in the wild," said Kenneth Krysko, a snake expert at the Florida Museum of Natural History, where the euthanized snake was brought. "'There's nothing stopping them and the native wildlife are in trouble."

The python had feathers in its stomach that scientists plan to use to identify the types of wildlife it was eating.

"A 17½-foot snake could eat anything it wants," Krysko said.

Banning

Tens of thousands of Burmese pythons are believed to be living in the Everglades, where they thrive in the warm, humid climate. While many were apparently released by their owners, others may have escaped from pet shops during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and have been reproducing ever since.

The snakes kill their prey by coiling around it and suffocating it. They have been known to swallow animals as large as deer and alligators.

Authorities have taken repeated steps to try and reduce the python problem, banning their importation and allowing them to be hunted. But those efforts have done little to reduce the population.

In and around Everglades National Park alone, some 1 825 Burmese pythons were found between 2000 and 2011.

Rob Robins, a biologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said the snakes are very hard to catch, and that since they have established themselves in the Everglades, they will be virtually impossible to eradicate.

"I think you're going to see more and more big snakes like this caught," he said.

Comments
  • Lyndatjie - 2012-08-14 07:42

    And once again its the human stuffing up the environment and introducing an invasive species who need to be hunted and killed. We just can't seem to help ourselves!

      jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-08-14 08:45

      Jap... I mean it's one thing to breed a domestic pet but to keep something that will always be wild even if you breed it yourself I mean how dumb can people still be...

      jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-08-14 08:45

      Jap... I mean it's one thing to breed a domestic pet but to keep something that will always be wild even if you breed it yourself I mean how dumb can people still be...

  • kevin.wright.58555 - 2012-08-14 07:50

    Wonder why the snake was killed if found in it's natural environment?? A national park? Glad we don't go around killing record sized animals in the Kruger!!

      sadiemy - 2012-08-14 08:24

      That is not its natural environment, idiot. Does the word "Burmese" in its name mean anything to you????

      sadiemy - 2012-08-14 08:24

      That is not its natural environment, idiot. Does the word "Burmese" in its name mean anything to you????

      johan.opperman1 - 2012-08-14 08:25

      It's not the Burmese Python's natural environment. These snakes are native to South and South-East India, and have been introduced into a foreign ecosystem mostly by idiots who don't know how to take care of them. A better analogy would be if we were to kill Brown Bears in the Kruger Park. Or kangaroos in Pilanesberg.

      johan.opperman1 - 2012-08-14 08:25

      It's not the Burmese Python's natural environment. These snakes are native to South and South-East India, and have been introduced into a foreign ecosystem mostly by idiots who don't know how to take care of them. A better analogy would be if we were to kill Brown Bears in the Kruger Park. Or kangaroos in Pilanesberg.

      jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-08-14 08:42

      Sadiemy... You do know you could have gotten your point across without throwing insults.

      jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-08-14 08:42

      Sadiemy... You do know you could have gotten your point across without throwing insults.

  • marc.hugo.75 - 2012-08-14 09:05

    That's the point Kevin. It wasn't in its natural environment (which is Burma/Myanmar)it was in the Florida Everglades on the other side of the world.

  • uwe.klopfer - 2012-08-14 14:20

    So its not its natural environment... that is one big ass snake..next horror movie...BURMESE PYTHON..who cares about an Anaconda now ? 5+ meters... that 2 decent sized cars back to back... and pure, unbelievably strong muscle....

      shaun.matthews.5074 - 2012-08-15 09:12

      Yes it is abig ass snake and its not nice to hear they killed it. Well I am a proud owner of one of those big ass snakes a albino burmese python which is just over 4m long and yes its tamer than a moltease poodle. Its in its own cage which its happy. Just sad to hear how they kill them.

      uwe.klopfer - 2012-08-15 15:57

      I am fond of snakes myself..what do they do with all these snakes ? They are left with no alternative but the destroy them.

  • pages:
  • 1