Back in 2019, officials from the South Florida Water Management District received a disturbing call. Homeowners found a 16-foot-long creature underneath their home. When the officials heard, they knew that they had to capture that animal to protect the local wildlife.
What was it, and how does it harm the Florida Everglades? Read on to learn about the state’s battle against a vicious predator.
Over a holiday weekend on July 19th, 2019, a Burmese python that was nearly 16 feet long was found nesting under an “old cracker camp house” by two campers. This happened about four miles south of Alligator Alley in Broward County.
Ron Bergeron, an Everglades conservationist, and South Florida Water Management District Board member was called to help capture the big snake.
“With good fortune, we were able to find a large female, and remove her and an entire nest of up to 50 baby snakes which would have continued killing off our precious habitat,” Ron Bergeron told CBS Miami. “About one-third of the new hatchlings would have likely lived to become adults.”
The Burmese python is a large nonvenomous constrictor that is also an invasive species in Florida. Burmese pythons are found primarily in and around the Everglades ecosystem in south Florida where the snake represents a threat to native wildlife, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In fact, the Florida Wildlife Commission alongside with South Florida Water Management District created a Rewards Program just to get rid of this invasive species.
Pythons can also be humanely killed on private lands at any time with landowner permission – no permit required – and the FWC encourages people to remove and kill pythons from private lands whenever possible as read on their website.
“The Burmese Python poses a significant threat to the Florida Everglades by disrupting the natural food chain,” Bergeron said.“I want to thank the Governor for making the eradication of the Burmese Python a top priority. He has asked both state agencies to work with our federal partners (Everglades National Park) to find ways to increase access to remote areas so we can engage more qualified personnel to remove this invasive snake.”
The python Bergeron captured was just short of a foot of the largest Burmese python ever captured in the Everglades. That snaked measured 17 feet, weighed 140 pounds, and was carrying 73 eggs!
Watch the video report below for more details: