Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said they reached a milestone in the hunt to remove invasive Burmese pythons from the Florida Everglades.
FWC said the Python Action Team captured an 18-foot-long female python Sept. 22 at Big Cypress National Preserve.
“In addition to being the largest snake ever captured by the PAT team, it is also the largest ever captured in Big Cypress. The snake is also the second-largest python ever caught in the wild in Florida, only 4 inches shorter than the longest wild python ever captured in Florida,” FWC officials said.
FWC also said capturing large adult females is critical because it prevents them from “adding an average of 30 to 60 hatchlings to the population each time they breed.”
On Sept. 24, FWC said the team caught its 900th python that measured 2 feet in length in the Everglades.
"Removing 900 pythons is a great milestone for our Python Action Team. These snakes, coupled with the thousands removed by our partners at the National Park Service and the South Florida Water Management District make a significant impact to protect Florida’s native wildlife,” said FWC executive director Eric Sutton.
In a news release, FWC wrote: “Burmese pythons became established in Florida as a result of escaped or released pets. It is illegal to release nonnative species into the wild, doing so can negatively impact native wildlife and habitat. Don’t let it loose! The FWC’s Exotic Pet Amnesty Program allows pet owners to surrender nonnative or exotic pets without penalty. Visit MyFWC.com/PetAmnesty for more information.”
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