NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – Florida wildlife officials say they’ve captured a huge Burmese python as part of the state’s removal program.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission posted a Facebook picture of the 17-foot, 9-inch (5.4 meters) snake captured by Python Action Team member Kevin Reich.
Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced he’s doubling the resources to remove the invasive species that’s destroying the natural food chain in Florida’s Everglades.
The state has paid hunters to catch and kill pythons and hosts a public python hunt every three years in an effort to remove the snakes from the Everglades.
Burmese pythons were brought to South Florida as pets in the 1970s. They were released into the wild and have devastated native populations of bobcats, opossums, raccoons and foxes and have nearly wiped out cottontail rabbits.