A contractor for the state of Florida captured a large python and discovered her nest with a record number of 111 unhatched eggs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
“The Python Action Team Removing Invasive Constrictors (a.k.a. our PATRIC program) helps remove these invasive, non-native snakes year-round,” wrote the FWC in a July 13 post. “A large invasive Burmese python with a record nest of 111 eggs was removed from the sensitive Everglades ecosystem thanks to PATRIC.”
This record-busting nest comes on the heels of another python record. On July 10, a record 19-foot, 125-pound Burmese Python was caught in the Everglades by a pair of young python hunters, Jake Waleri and Stephen Gauta. This is the longest python ever recorded in the state (watch a video of that hunt here). That snake was also captured in South Florida’s Everglades, in the Big Cypress National Preserve.
This pair of record python catches in South Florida come just as the 2023 Florida Python Challenge gets underway on Aug. 4. The annual competition is a popular event put on by the state that offers up to $30,000 in prize money for persons who catch the most and biggest pythons in Florida.
FWC says snake removal “helps our native birds, mammals and other reptiles by removing non-native, invasive pythons from the Florida Everglades.”
Burmese pythons negatively impact the Everglades ecosystem by preying upon and competing with native wildlife. The removal of this python and its 111 unhatched eggs helps prevent future negative impacts to our native wildlife, wrote the FWC on its post. Non-native reptiles including Burmese pythons can be dispatched year-round on any private property, and on 32 state managed lands without a hunting license or permits. This is done to control the burgeoning invasive assault of pythons that have invaded South Florida.
Since 2000 FWC says over 18,000 pythons have been removed from South Florida. When the state began offering a paid python removal fee to snake catchers starting in 2017, the number of snakes caught and removed has skyrocketed in number.