Researchers remove largest female python from Big Cypress National Preserve

Even by python standards this one was colossal

The researchers caught this behemoth by using male pythons equipped with radio transmitters, which, they say, "allows the team to track the male to locate breeding females".

A 17-foot-long female python, the largest ever captured at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida's Everglades, took four people to hold it.

"All of the python work at Big Cypress is focused on controlling this invasive species, which poses significant threats to native wildlife", the group said on its Facebook post.

The team said it collects data, comes with new removal tools and learns about how the snakes are using the reserve.

"Haven't seen any deer or small animals for several years in the Big Cypress", a Facebook user commented on the park's post.

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The record-breaking female python the team found contained 73 developing eggs, the preserve reports.

In 2013, a snake collector in the state discovered the largest python on record there, measuring 18 feet 8 inches.

While pythons of all sizes have been found in the Everglades, a lot of them are between 6 and 10 feet long. It weighed 132 pounds, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Burmese pythons were introduced to Florida through escaped or released pets, and now they are a presence in the Everglades, feeding on native wildlife.

Agencies responsible for managing the Everglades stage regular public python hunts and previous year recorded their 1,000th kill, by a hunter who bagged more than 100. Burmese pythons were first spotted in the Everglades in the 1980s, and the population grew in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Other efforts to remove pythons have proved less successful.

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