Giant python weighing 215 pounds captured in Florida (video)



 A Burmese python weighing 215 pounds and nearly 18 feet long has become the heaviest ever snake captured in Florida.

The reptile, caught in Florida's Picayune Strand State Forest, wrestled with biologists for 20 minutes before being restrained, authorities said in a press conference

The snake was about the height of a giraffe if stretched out vertically, wildlife biologist Ian Bartoszek said.

The python was captured and euthanized, which biologists in Florida do to prevent the snakes from consuming native wildlife and disturbing the ecosystem.

During the python's necropsy, biologists discovered that the snake had 122 eggs developing inside her and hooves in her digestive tract, which suggested her most recent meal had been an entire adult white-tailed deer.

The findings also set a new limit for the highest number of eggs a female python can potentially produce in a breeding cycle.

"The removal of female pythons plays a critical role in disrupting the breeding cycle of these apex predators that are wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem and taking food sources from other native species," Bartoszek said.

"This is the wildlife issue of our time for southern Florida."

The record-breaking snake was tracked using a male "scout" snake named Dionysus, who biologists said was attracted to the larger snake like a "magnet."

Burmese pythons are native to southeast Asia and have become pests in Florida due to the exotic pet trade industry of the 1980s.

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