Researchers Locate Massive 17-Foot Python in Florida National Park

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"The team tracked one of the sentinel males with the transmitter and found this massive female nearby". The picture posted on Facebook shows it took four people to hold up the behemoth.

Authorities said they used male pythons that were equipped with radio transmitters in an effort to track researchers to breeding females.

In recent decades, the big snakes have become a menace in Florida.

A research team in Big Cypress National Preserve found and removed a female python that was over 17 feet long and weighed 140 pounds, the largest ever seen in the area, according to the preserve's Facebook page.

While this latest find is impressive, it's not the biggest python to have been discovered in the Florida Everglades.

As many as 100,000 pythons are now living in the Florida Everglades, according to state wildlife officials.

Researchers at the preserve said they not only remove the invasive snakes, but their capture allows for them to also collect data and learn how the pythons are using the preserve.

Two years ago, 25 hunters were paid to euthanize pythons under a $175,000 pilot program by the South Florida Water Management District.

According to the United States Geological Survey, drastic falls in the population of raccoons, opossums and bobcats in the Everglades are linked to pythons - while rabbits and foxes "effectively disappeared" from the area.

The snakes began turning up in the Everglades in the 1980s, most likely abandoned by pet owners when the reptiles got too large to handle.

The pythons pose significant threats to native wildlife.

When scientists captured the snake, she had 73 eggs inside of her.

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