Florida Biologists Capture Heaviest Burmese Python Ever Weighing In At 215 Pounds
If you have a fear of snakes, you should probably not read the rest of this.
In an eye-opening recent event, the largest Burmese python ever was recently captured by biologists from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The final weight? 215 pounds! The snake was just about 18 feet long and had 122 developing eggs.
For perspective, the heaviest female that the conservatory team had found prior to this big old one was 185 pounds.
To find the new, massive snake, the scientists used radio transmitters transplanted in male “scout” snakes. “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,” Ian Bartoszek, wildlife biologist and environmental science project manager for the conservancy’s program.
One biologist, Ian Easterling, and an intern, Kyle Findley, were the ones to capture the snake, haul it through the woods, and get it into their field truck. What a job—what a workout!
The scout snake they used was named Dionysus, aka Dion, who went on his search in the western Everglades. “We knew he was there for a reason, and the team found him with the largest female we have seen to date,” Bartoszek said. Massive pythons like this are known for rapid reproduction and depletion of surrounding native wildlife, so it’s important to remove female pythons to alleviate this cycle. “This is the wildlife issue of our time for southern Florida,” Bartoszek explained.
Bartoszek and his team for the conservancy’s python program have removed over 1,000 pythons from approximately 100 squares in southwest Florida since 2013. After necropsies have taken place, ti was discovered that many of those pythons had white-tailed deer inside of them, meaning that was their last meal. The same thing was the case for this 215-pound python—hoof cores in the snake’s digest system were found.
Pictures don’t do the python justice—you have to see it to believe it. Check out the press conference where you can see the snake in all her glory. Plus, you can learn more about how and why this team captures their pythons—and all the good that can come from it.
Wow! Can you believe the size of the snake they captured? Would you ever want to have a job like these men do? What would you do if you ever saw a snake that big in the wild?