Hunters working to remove invasive reptiles from a wildlife preserve in the Florida Everglades have captured a 5.2-metre Burmese python by tracing the movements of a potential breeding partner.
The record-breaking female python the team found contained 73 developing eggs, the preserve reports.
Researchers at Big Cypress National Preserve found what they describe as the biggest python they've ever seen there according WUSA9.
"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 park said in its post.
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The males then lead researchers to breeding grounds, where they usually find females. Some pythons grow as much as 20 feet long.
Agencies responsible for managing the Everglades stage regular public python hunts and past year recorded their 1,000th kill, by a hunter who bagged more than 100.
In 2013, a snake collector in the state discovered the largest python on record there, measuring 18 feet 8 inches. Pythons are native to Southeast Asia, Africa and Central and South America.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission allows for Burmese pythons to be killed without a permit or hunting license.
"The Resource Management staff would like to thank all of the Preserve divisions that have supported the python program", Big Cypress National Preserve said in the Facebook post.