11-foot Burmese python found swimming off coast of South Florida
Wildlife officials in South Florida on Friday said they captured a giant Burmese python swimming about a mile off the coast of Biscayne Bay, local reports said.
The snake is an invasive species and has damaged the state’s swampland ecosystem. Foxes and cottontail rabbits have “effectively disappeared.”
The one that was posted on Biscayne National Park’s Facebook page was 11 feet long and weighed 31 pounds. It was captured using a net.
As pythons eat their way across the Sunshine State’s landscape, there is strong evidence Florida’s bird, native snake and iconic alligator populations are also suffering.
What predators the python doesn’t eat are losing the competition for food, including bobcats and panthers. The hunters are simply too large and too efficient. They are at home in warm, wet, watery climates and can swim, burrow and climb trees.
Researchers even believe pythons have swum across the open saltwater of Florida Bay from the Everglades to islands in the Florida Keys.
The Associated Press contributed to this report