See also "Feds Likely to Face Face Legal Battle Over Burmese Python Ban" and "Are Burmese Pythons Slithering, Destructive Force?"
The University of Florida announced a startling discovery Monday: A 17-foot-7-inch Burmese python had been pulled from the Everglades. The record-setting reptile weighed 165 pounds and was "about a foot wide."
Worst of all: Scientists removed 87 eggs from the animal's innards.
We here at the Pulp have tried to remain skeptical of the hype surrounding Burmese pythons and the recently enacted federal ban, but this beast is certainly cause for concern.
"This thing is monstrous," Kenneth Krysko of the Florida Museum of Natural History said in a statement. "It means these snakes are surviving a long time in the wild; there's nothing stopping them, and the native wildlife are in trouble."
Quantifying just how much trouble the native wildlife is in remains a challenge, though.
The media went wild earlier this year when a study in a major scientific journal suggested that Burmese pythons had annihilated raccoons, opossums, and other mammals from the Everglades. But just days after the study was published, some experts said the data was flawed, and one scientist who worked on the study told Reuters the paper should have never seen the light of day.