19 Python Babies And Their Massive Mom Nabbed In Florida Nursery Raid


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) claimed that it stormed a python nursery and successfully captured two huge females, 23 eggs, and dozens of hatchlings. Matthew Rubenstein, a commission officer, and python contractor Alex McDuffie discovered two nesting locations in Big Cypress National Preserve in South Florida. The couple initially caught a 10-foot female Burmese python when it was sitting on 23 unhatched eggs and 18 young hatchlings slithering nearby.

McDuffie reported to Rubenstein that the next evening when he returned to the same location, he retrieved a second breeding female measuring 17 feet, six inches long. ‘The pythons and unhatched eggs were removed from the sensitive area, assisting in the prevention of future harmful impacts to our native animals,’ the FWC said in a Facebook post about the incidents, which occurred Monday and Tuesday and were announced Thursday.

The crew was directed to the python nursery on July 11 when McDuffie was “in the process of trapping and bagging a Burmese python hatchling from the region,” according to a statement from the FWC. ‘Because the python looked to be just born, they began scouring the surrounding region for further hatchlings.’ Pythons are originally from Southeast Asia, but have been wreaking havoc in Florida since the 1970s. The snakes were brought to Florida as pets, but their owners abandoned them in the wild, where they multiplied and grew to enormous lengths.

The number of pythons has increased in recent years, prompting Governor Ron DeSantis to declare that registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge is now open. ‘The Florida Python Challenge gives a chance for individuals to actively contribute to Everglades conservation by eradicating the Burmese python, an invasive species that is actively destroying our native animal populations,’ said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton in a statement. Although Burmese pythons may be found throughout the Everglades, they are difficult to capture since they live deep beneath the wetlands.

However, snake hunters have been inventive in their search for these snakes, using males to chase down females. Last month, Douglas Main, senior writer and editor at National Geographic, spoke with DailyMail.com about how this method was utilized to catch the largest python ever recorded in Florida—or anyplace beyond its natural region. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida researchers collected this giant female python, which weighed 215 pounds and measured 17.7 feet long. ‘Because of the size involved, it is astounding. It weighs more than most individuals,’ Main told DailyMail.com.

‘It’s particularly fascinating because it demonstrates the efficacy of this strategy utilizing scout snakes, which are male pythons outfitted with GPS transmitters.’ ‘The males are released, and the snakes lead them to huge fertile females.’ The massive snake was captured in December, eu.thanized, and frozen until April. Rebecca Dzombak of National Geographic went to a facility in Naples to observe the experts perform a n.ec.ro.psy. The cor.pse took around 48 hours to thaw, and Dzombak stated in her story that “the scent does not improve with time.”

The researchers began by slicing the python’s belly and then pealing apart its ribs to expose the beneath the fat layer, which allowed them to discover a few more fascinating things. The body had 122 proto-eggs, the most ever discovered within a python. The eggs, however, had not yet been fe.rtilized. The python’s digestive tube included hoof cores and fragments of hair, indicating that her previous meal was an adult white-tailed deer, according to experts. ‘The major prey for endangered Florida panthers is white-tailed deer,’ Main explained. ‘So this is worrying.’

Main told DailyMail.com that he is working on a piece about Florida’s endangered panthers, of which there are only approximately 200 in the state. The snake’s head measured nearly six inches from the tip of her nose to the rear of her skull, according to researchers. Her body was 25 inches broad at its widest point. The eggs, however, had not yet been fe.rtilized. The python’s digestive tube included hoof cores and fragments of hair, indicating that her previous meal was an adult white-tailed deer, according to experts.

‘The major prey for endangered Florida panthers is white-tailed deer,’ Main explained. ‘So this is worrying.’ Main told DailyMail.com that he is working on a piece about Florida’s endangered panthers, of which there are only approximately 200 in the state. The snake’s head measured nearly six inches from the tip of her nose to the rear of her skull, according to researchers. Her body was 25 inches broad at its widest point.

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