An 18 foot long, 150 pound python found in Florida earlier this week munched on well over 150 pounds of wildlife before it was shot and killed. The python, which was the second biggest ever found in the Everglades, astonished the maintenance crew who stumbled across the monstrous creature. Although people who do not live in Florida may not know this, there is a job called a “python coordinator” that exists, presumably because, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.
The python coordinator was immediately called, and he was able to send the snake to the great beyond with a quick shot to its head. The main reason the python had to be killed was because in the course of its routine daily menu, it was doing major damage to the local ecosystem by feasting on a large variety of important wildlife like bobcats, deer, foxes, raccoons, rabbits, and other animals. Snakes of this size can even eat alligators. While they normally do not attack humans, being the target of a python’s plate is no picnic; they kill their victims by squeezing the life out of them rather than with venom.
Pythons have been a major problem in the Everglades since the 1990s, when Hurricane Andrew was responsible for the escape of hundreds of pythons from a controlled facility there. Besides that unfortunate event, pet owners who once thought their miniature python was adorable have compounded the problem by abandoning the snakes in the wild once the critters have grown to be not-so-cute.
Left to their own devices, the pythons have been having baby pythons like mad. The python community is somewhere between 100,000-150,000 strong, according to current estimates, and has been thriving under the heat of the Florida sun, where the snakes enjoy dining in a tropical climate by munching on wildlife, long walks on the beach, working out by taking 30 minute swims under water, and otherwise keeping in shape by slithering through the brush; that is, of course, when they’re not chillaxing by lazily lying around trying to get a sun tan. This 18 foot, 150 pound female Burmese python, while frightening, was also a majestic sight due to her size.
One of the reasons why the fierce creatures are able to grow to such incredible sizes is because they have almost nothing to interrupt their lives. They have no enemies to stop them; so barring disease, there is nothing to interfere with their long life spans. Burmese pythons can live for a whopping 25 years. This newest specimen found in the Florida Everglades may have grown to weigh a maximum of 200 pounds and to measure in at 23 feet had it not been captured.
The pythons were once found mainly in Southeast Asia, but because of humans’ desiring to keep them as pets, the animlas made their way to Southern Florida, and now experts say they could possibly invade states surrounding Florida and even northern states.
This 18 foot, 150 pound python undoubtedly enjoyed its time in the sun, and munched on well over 150 pounds of wildlife before departing this world for good. Her body has been delivered to researchers to study so they can determine even more effective ways of reducing the numbers of snakes that comprise this invasive species. Below, see the python recently found as well as a python eating an alligator.
By: Rebecca Savastio