Record 164-pound, 17.5-foot python caught in Florida

On Aug. 10, 2012, researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus examine the internal anatomy of the largest Burmese python found in Florida to date. University of Florida photo by Kristen Grace/Florida Museum of Natural History

(CBS/AP) WEST PALM BEACH, Florida - Scientists say they've caught the biggest Burmese python ever recorded in Florida.

The python weighed in at 164.5 pounds and measured 17 feet, 7 inches long. It was pregnant with 87 eggs.

"This thing is monstrous, it's about a foot wide," said Florida Museum herpetology collection manager Kenneth Krysko, in a press release. "It means these snakes are surviving a long time in the wild, there's nothing stopping them and the native wildlife are in trouble."

The snakes are native to Southeast Asia but have established a population of tens of thousands in the Everglades, where the latest find was recorded Friday.

It was euthanized and is being studied at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Authorities have taken steps to try and reduce the python problem in the Everglades, banning their importation and allowing them to be hunted. But those efforts have done little to reduce the population. Their presence in South Florida is blamed, in part, by the release of snakes that people kept as pets.

"They were here 25 years ago, but in very low numbers and it was difficult to find one because of their cryptic behavior," Krysko said in the release. "Now, you can go out to the Everglades nearly any day of the week and find a Burmese python. We've found 14 in a single day."

Comments