Facebook screengrab from Martin County Trapping & Wildlife Rescue
A large python found in Florida’s Everglades was pregnant with a stunning 60 eggs, according to Martin County Trapping & Wildlife Rescue.
The invasive snake was discovered by a python-sniffing dog named Otto and later euthanized by trapper Mike Kimmel, the company wrote in a July 4 Facebook post.
“She was nearly 16 feet long and contained over 60 eggs that were just days from being laid into our Everglades,” the post revealed.
“A removal like this is absolutely crucial for our native wildlife in that ecosystem and will make a difference. A python this size can eat anything in the Everglades. … These invasive snakes are now the top of the food chain… until man & dog intervene.”
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Kimmel, known as the “Python Cowboy” on social media, shared a photo showing a portion of the large eggs, which averaged 4 to 5 inches in length, experts say.
The snake was caught July 6 and estimated at more than 100 pounds in weight, Kimmel told Newsweek. The location where the snake was caught was not revealed.
Pregnant Burmese pythons are capable of laying “50 to 100 eggs at a time,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The species averages 6 to 9 feet in length in Florida, but some as big as 18 feet have been captured.
Voracious pythons are a major threat to native species in the Everglades, where “they prey on mammals, birds, reptiles even alligators,” the state reports.
Kimmel says he has rescued three adult alligators from the fatal grip of pythons in the Everglades.