A 17-foot, 140-pound female Burmese python carrying 73 (!!!!) developing eggs was caught and killed by researchers last week in the Florida Everglades. Some people might argue that her death was justified—Burmese pythons are an invasive species in Florida, and tend to eat all the native animals and their food. Still, the python deserves a moment of silence. It sucks to die in Florida.
Even worse, the python was only caught because of an oblivious sex partner. According to the Washington Post, researchers in the Everglades have been attaching radio transmitters to male pythons, who then lead the researchers to breeding females. Hence, this particular python’s demise.
She was a record winner, according to researchers with the Big Cypress National Preserve, who lauded their catch on Facebook. Here she is:
Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia, but there are now thousands of them running rampant in Florida, eating all the birds and opossums and challenging alligators to feats of strength. How did that come to be? WELL, according to CBS, first Floridians started purchasing Burmese pythons to keep in their homes, since they thought it would be cute to have a ten-pound snake as a pet. Then, when they discovered that was decidedly not the case, they started setting the snakes free in the Everglades.
That was the initial problem. Then, there was this:
On August 23, 1992 Andrew made landfall south of Miami as a Category 5 hurricane, one of the most powerful ever to hit the United States. Sustained winds whipped at upwards of 150 miles per hour, more than enough to rip roofs off homes and demolish buildings, including a number of exotic wildlife facilities in the area. One of the buildings affected was a breeding facility for Burmese pythons, and many of them escaped.
And so, the Everglades are oversaturated with Burmese pythons because of human hubris and hurricanes, and for that, this poor snake had to die. Pour one out for the python, tricked by a male snake and cut down in her prime.