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16-foot python captured and killed in Florida

A Burmese python was captured after it swallowed 76-pound deer whole.
Burmese python floridaEnlarge
This Burmese python was captured and killed in the Everglades after it gulped down a 76-pound deer. (Daily Mail /Screengrab)

What a snake.

A 16-foot-long Burmese python has been captured and killed in South Florida after it devoured a 76-pound female deer whole, ABC News reports. The enormous snake was found in the western Miami-Dade County in the Everglades by workers from the South Florida Management District while they were removing non-native plants from the area.

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The deer, although dead, was found completely intact in the python, forming a huge bulge in its body. It was the largest prey ever discovered in a python in Florida, Time reported.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials said the python, one of the largest ever found in South Florida, was killed with a shotgun, ABC News reported. Officials said it had to be killed to prevent the spread of the species further north, the New York Daily News reported. Burmese pythons are threatening to become a top predator in the Everglades, after showing up in the region in the mid-1990s when overwhelmed exotic pet owners released them into the wild, Time reported.

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This is the first time a snake has been caught so soon after swallowing a deer, the Daily Mail reported. 'It’s pretty clearly one of the biggest snakes we’ve seen,' said Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Daily Mail reported. 'We haven’t gotten anything longer than 16 feet in the wild in Florida.'

Although pythons are restricted to South Florida, researchers are concerned about the prospect of the species interbreeding with the man-eating African rock python, reproducing a very aggressive hybrid, Time reported.

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