Hunters bag record-breaking python in Florida Everglades
Two Florida hunters set a new record when they caught a Burmese python that measures a whopping 5.71 meters, southern state authorities said Friday as they encouraged more people to eliminate the invasive species.
The Burmese python was captured 60 kilometers west of Miami and weighed 47 kilograms, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.
"That is a new record!" The agency said in a statement, accompanied by a picture of hunters Ryan Anburn and Kevin Pavlidis posing at either end of the monster snake and stretching across a country road.
"The removal of this female snake is a triumph for our native wildlife and habitats," said the commission.
The previous record for the invasive species was 18 feet and 7.6 inches and was recorded in 2013.
Native to Southeast Asia, the constrictors were likely brought to Florida as exotic pets towards the end of the last century and released into the Everglades, vast wetlands that occupy much of the southern part of the state.
They have no natural predators there and feed on everything from raccoons to smaller alligators.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission pays hunters a bounty to catch the snakes.
lm / lda / jh / acb
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