Scientists capture the biggest python ever found in US

Gargantuan 17-foot python with 73 eggs captured at Florida animal preserve

Officials said this is the largest python ever removed from Big Cypress National Preserve and that it was caught using radio transmitters.

They found the record-breaking python using a new, and intuitive, tracking method - following male pythons on their quests for female mates.

"The Resource Management staff would like to thank all of the Preserve divisions that have supported the python program", Big Cypress National Preserve said in the Facebook post.

As well as removing invasive snakes, Big Cypress said it uses each discovery to collect data for research, develop new removal tools and learn how pythons are using the area.

The Burmese python is native to Southeast Asia, but in recent decades the big snakes have become a slithering menace in Florida.

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

It was one of these transmitting males that led the preserve's researchers to the impressive female, who weighed 140 pounds.

Tens of thousands of Burmese pythons are now estimated to be living in Florida's Everglades. The pythons, an invasive species overrunning the Everglades, pose a significant risk to local wildlife.

Some 1,600 people registered for the inaugural Python Challenge in 2013, organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The searchers, however, managed to find only 68 snakes.

Burmese pythons were brought to Florida in the 1970s as pets - however, some were released into the wild, and have since multiplied to great numbers, threatening the survival of local animals.

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