Invasive Giant Florida Python Captured With Remains Of Adult Deer In Belly; State Continues Aggressive Anti-Python Efforts

The biggest python ever caught in the US and one of the world’s largest, was captured in Flordia after eating an adult deer.

photo of snake
Pythons are powerful and dangerous predators. They have established ahold in Florida and eradication efforts are being attempted. Photo by Jan Kopřiva on

The giant snake highlights the problem the state has with the invasive species. Florida is working to control pythons with technology, old-fashioned hunting and various contests. The snake was about 25 feet long and over 200 pounds which makes it one of the biggest ever. Pythons that size can eat adult humans and sometimes do.

animal animal photography big big cat
Bobcats are small. agile and strong predators. Some reports indicate they have taken a liking to raiding python nests when the mother isn’t home. Photo by Pixabay on

No one knows how many pythons live in Florida. Irresponsible owners either released them or did not adequately cage them. Over the last few decades the population has boomed and they are consuming native wildlife with very few natural enemies. Alligators and pythons do eat each other, and the larger usually wins. Bobcats have been seen eating python eggs, and bobcats eat snakes. But a bobcat is no match for any but the smallest python. A number of owls and hawks and other animals {including snake eating snakes ) might be able to eat hatchlings but the python population is growing. Natural controls are not reducing the numbers.

black hippopotamus on green grass
Hippos have been introduced to a Colombian river system and the fear is that they will continue to multioPhoto by Follow Alice on

Florida is responding in a number of ways. The snake in question was a female, and she was found by releasing a male with a tracker imbedded in his body. Catching females can prevent the laying of 100 or more eggs at a time and many times that over a lifetime. The use of tracker males is important but is not the Silver Bullet.

State laws have been amended to encourage hunting, and restaurants serve python meat to the adventurous. There are bounties for capture and contests to see who can capture the most. Python hunters have even been brought to Florida from Asia to help locals learn the ways of this highly destructive invader.

portrait of a handicapped stray cat with different colored eyes
The domestic housecat is invasive in much of the world Feral cats in Australia are wreaking havoc and the country is trying to eliminate them. Photo by Petrebels on

Worldwide the question of invasive species is a serious one. Drug lord Pablo Escobar imported hippos to Colombia for his amusement, but Colombia isn’t amused. The country may have to kill some. Australia is plagued by a great variety of invasive species and has declared “war” on feral cats. Millions of released or escaped housecats have multiplied and are wreaking havoc on Australia’s unique wildlife, much of it small, flightless or otherwise vulnerable to the small but highly efficient predators. Not all invasive species are as big as pythons. Joro spiders have recently reached the United States and so far their impact seems benign.

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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