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500-Lb., 7-Foot-Wide Pile of Pythons Found Mating in Florida: 'Most People's Worst Nightmare'

Accepted submission by upstart at 2024-03-19 23:58:49

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500-Lb., 7-Foot-Wide Pile of Pythons Found Mating in Florida: 'Most People's Worst Nightmare' []:

Florida wildlife experts uncovered a roughly 500 lb. and 7-foot-wide pile of invasive Burmese pythons mating together, a record-sized catch.

please-dispose-of-your-serpents-properly dept.

YouTube []:

500 pounds of python caught when mating rituals revealed in Florida marsh, team says []:

Is science winning?

Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission suspects they made their way into the wilds of Florida as exotic pets that escaped or were intentionally released.

Necropsies have revealed [] they are eating at least 24 species of mammal, 47 species of bird and three reptile species in South Florida, according to University of Florida research.

In one case, a 31.5-pound python ate a 35-pound deer. [] “We see the remains of deer inside pythons often. This is concerning and it should sound an alarm.” Bartoszek says.

Even more frightening is the fact they may be expanding their turf to the north and showing up in seemingly impossible places. In 2017, a python was found in open water nearly 15 miles off [] the coast of southwest Florida, Bartoszek wrote in a scientific note published in Herpetological Review.

The conservancy — one of Florida’s largest environmental organizations [] — was among the first to take action, launching a ground war that has lasted more than a decade.

Catching 11 snakes in a day shows the tracking program is working, but not in the way people might think, Bartoszek says.

That’s definitely a lot of snakes to catch in a day, but the more important detail is that nearly a dozen males were found and with so few mating options, they were all after the same two females. (Two additional telemetry programs are now operating in the eastern part of South Florida, one led by the University of Florida [] and the other from the U.S. Geological Survey [].)

“It’s a big Everglades. I’m not declaring victory by any stretch, but we are winning key battles. We feel like we are attempting to hold the line around Naples while we all wait for additional control tools to develop,” Bartoszek says.

“There’s an area where we had four active scouts and they have not found us a female in that sector this season. ... We are cautiously optimistic, you can’t take (1,300) snakes out of the equation and not make an impact.”

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