16-Foot Python Eats Florida Deer
A 16-foot python was discovered digesting a 76-pound deer on Thursday in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Workers from the South Florida Water Management District found the Burmese python while they were in the midst of removing non-native plants from a tree island. Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission killed the snake with a shotgun. After performing an autopsy, it was clear that the humongous animal had just eaten an adult deer, the most gigantic prey ever found in a Burmese python in the Florida area.
In an interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, python expert Skip Snow remarked, “It shows you they can eat huge things.”
He added, “This is clearly an extreme event.”
Burmese pythons began to pervade the Everglades in the 1990s when local Florida residents released them after they grew too large to keep as pets. The pythons are currently at risk of becoming the top predator in the region. As of now, they are only appearing in southern Florida, but scientists claim they could survive as far as Washington, D.C.
There is also concern that Burmese pythons are interbreeding with the man-eating African rock python – a hybrid that researchers say would be extremely aggressive.