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Giant Burmese python captured in Everglades National Park

A massive Burmese python large enough to ingest deer and alligators was captured by a permitted python researcher in the Everglades National Park in Florida recently, CBS Miami reported Tuesday.

The python, found along a tram road at Shark Valley on July 9, measured a whooping 18 feet, 3 inches and was only five inches shy of the largest snake ever captured in Florida. An 18-foot, 8-inch Burmese Python was caught in Miami-Dade in 2013.

Park officials told CBS that the best news about this capture is that its removal from the wild will help protect the diverse wildlife in Everglades National Park. It’s believed to be the second-largest snake taken in Florida.

After its capture, National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey interns who work on invasive species control projects were allowed to handle the snake to give them confidence and experience in handling Burmese pythons.

Everglades National Park spokeswoman Linda Friar told CBS that the snake was eventually humanely euthanized.

The snake was found to be a female that had not reproduced this season, and its stomach was empty.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a Burmese Python Removal Program designed to control the population of the invasive snake, which was first sighted in South Florida in the 1980s. The species was officially recognized as a reproducing population in 2000 and since then sightings have grown exponentially.
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