A female python weighing 98 kg (215 pounds) was found in Florida state of the US, the officials said. The snake, which was nearly 18-feet-long (5 metres), had 122 developing eggs, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida said in a press release. It is the heaviest Burmese python ever captured in the state. The discovery was made by a team of biologists during the python removal programme of the state. A male “scout” snake, which had radio transmitters implanted, was used by the team to find this python. This scout snake was named Dionysus or Dion. It found the python in an area of the western Everglades. The “scout” snakes help the experts study python movements, habitat use and breeding behaviours, said Ian Bartoszek, wildlife biologist and environmental science project manager for the conservancy’s programme.
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“How do you find the needle in the haystack? You could use a magnet, and in a similar way our male scout snakes are attracted to the biggest females around,” Bartoszek added. In the capture of the female python, biologist Ian Easterling and intern Kyle Findley also contributed. From the woods, it was taken to the field truck.
The invasive pythons are known for rapid reproduction and depletion of the surrounding native wildlife. The removal of the female pythons plays a significant role in disrupting the breeding cycle, Bartoszek further said.
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(With inputs from agencies)