Officials say Florida trappers have captured a record-setting python as part of a growing effort that encourages hunters to remove the invasive snakes from the Everglades. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the 18-foot, 4-inch-long female python weighed 98 pounds and 10 ounces.
A statement by the Fish and Wildlife Commission says it was the largest snake captured by the new Python Action Team and the largest ever captured at the Big Cypress National Preserve, west of Miami. The agency says it is the second-largest python ever caught in the wild in Florida.
The commission says hunting female Burmese pythons is critical because they add between 30 and 60 hatchlings each time they breed.
As CBSN reported last year, captive Burmese pythons let loose by Hurricane Andrew's destruction three decades ago have flourished in the southern Florida ecosystem, decimating local species in the process. And now there are signs this stubbornly invasive species may be poised to make its way beyond the state's borders.