GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Scientists at the University of Florida are examining the largest Burmese python ever found in Florida. The massive snake was caught by trappers in the Everglades and brought to the university for research.
Scientists said the beast is 17-feet-7-inches long and weighs 164.5 pounds. They said they found 87 eggs in the snake.
"This thing is monstrous. It's about a foot wide," said Florida Museum herpetology 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. A 17.5-foot snake could eat anything it wants," Krysko said.
Experts say the invasive Burmese python is one of the deadliest predators in South Florida. With no known natural predator, population estimates for the python range from the thousands to hundreds of thousands.
The rapid population growth led to recent state laws prohibiting people from owning Burmese pythons as pets.
After they are done with their examination, scientists will mount the massive snake for exhibition.
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