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Her "boyfriend", as many outlets reported, is what led the hunters to the expectant mother. The picture posted on Facebook shows it took four people to hold up the behemoth.

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

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.

Officials discovered the female python, more than 17 feet long and weighing 140 pounds, on Friday in Big Cypress National Preserve. The climate and the swamps outside of Miami provide the pythons with the ideal habitat to thrive.

Using male pythons with transmitters, it allows the hunters to track the male to find the breeding females.

Tens of thousands of Burmese pythons are now estimated to be living in Florida's Everglades.

The snake is the largest python ever removed from Big Cypress National Preserve, a 729,000-acre expanse of swampland west of Miami in South Florida, CNN reported on Sunday citing a statement on the preserve's Facebook page.

Since then, the python has disrupted the natural ecosystem of predator and prey in the Everglades, competing with native wildlife for food and contributing to the decline in several mammal species.

The snakes began turning up in the Everglades in the 1980s, most likely abandoned by pet owners when the reptiles got too large to handle. The searchers found only 68 snakes.

This enormous female was also found to contain 73 developing eggs.


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