The researchers tracked the snake down through a procedure that used radio transmitters implanted in the male snakes. “How do you find a needle in a haystack? You can use a magnet, and in a similar way our male scout snakes are attracted to the largest female snakes around,” biologist Ian Bartoszek said in a statement.
In a news conference, the researchers said the snake resisted, and they had to fight it for 20 minutes before they were able to subdue it.
The captured snake was euthanized. Examination revealed that the female snake had 122 developing eggs. “This discovery sets a new limit on the maximum number of eggs a female python can produce in a single reproductive cycle,” the group said, calling it a record-breaking discovery. The snake also recently fed on an adult white-tailed deer.
National Geographic magazinepostAn in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the research project and capture of the giant snake.
So far, the conservation society has caught more than 1,000 pythons. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC, also runs a number of python removal programs, including an open competition that rewards python removal with money.
“Removal of female pythons has played a key role in disrupting the reproductive cycles of these top predators that are wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem and taking food sources from other native species,” Bartoszek said. For Florida South of the state, this is the wildlife problem of our time.”