A record-breaking snake has been caught and removed from a national park in America.
The Burmese python, an invasive species in Florida, was over 17 feet long, weight 140 pounds and was carrying 73 “developing eggs”, according to officials at Big Cypress National Preserve.
It is “the largest python ever removed” from the preserve, the National Parks Service said in a Facebook post.
“She was caught because of research and a new approach to finding pythons,” the post read.
“Using male pythons with radio transmitters allows the team to track the male to locate breeding females.
@The team not only removes the invasive snakes, but collects data for research, develop new removal tools, and learn how the pythons are using the Preserve.
“The team tracked one of the sentinel males with the transmitter and found this massive female nearby.”
The Burmese python has become a major threat to local wildlife populations in the Florida Everglades and surrounding areas.
According to the United States Geological Survey, drastic falls in the population of raccoons, opossums and bobcats in the Everglades are linked to pythons – while rabbits and foxes “effectively disappeared” from the area.
The python population is thought to originate from pets released by owners when they got too large, and has been growing since the 1980s, while a breeding facility destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 also contributed.
Big Cypress National Preserve occupies 729,000 acres of swampland west of Miami and adjacent to the Everglades.