Florida Everglades snake hunters capture 5.2-metre Burmese python

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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.

According to Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve, a 17-ft. female Burmese python, containing 73 developing eggs, was found slithering around the national preserve.

Researchers explained in the post that they were able to track the female by tracking radio transmitters placed on male pythons. Others escaped from a breeding facility wrecked by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

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Big Cypress said the snake sent a new record for the area. Rita Garcia, a spokeswoman for Big Cypress Preserve, said the eggs were destroyed and the snake was euthanized.

It was one of these transmitting males that led the preserve's researchers to the impressive female, who weighed 140 pounds.

It is "the largest python ever removed" from the preserve, the National Parks Service said in a Facebook post.

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According to a 2012 study by the United States Geological Survey, the region has witnessed a major drop in the population of raccoons, opossums and bobcats, with several species of rabbits and foxes having almost disappeared altogether. The program has helped locate several other breeding females in the Everglades in recent months, the team said.

Florida has used other methods to manage the python population, including encouraging the humane killing of pythons on private property and at 22 wildlife management areas, including Big Cypress.

Other efforts to remove pythons have proved less successful.

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