Snake hunters have captured what they say is the largest python ever found in the swamps of the Florida Everglades: a pregnant female more than 17ft (5.2 metres) long and weighing 140lb, or 63.5kg.Some Florida searches for pythons offer a quick look at the seriousness with which the hunt is being conducted:
The team from the Big Cypress National Preserve posted news of their record-setting catch in a Facebook post that also noted the giant reptile was carrying 73 eggs.
Environmentalists have been struggling to find ways to eradicate Burmese pythons, a non-native species, from the 1.5m-acre wilderness since the 1980s, when some were released into the wild as overgrown pets. Others escaped from a breeding facility wrecked by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Other efforts to remove pythons have proved less successful. Everglades National Park scientists trained a beagle puppy named Python Pete to sniff out the snakes, but had to abandon the venture when Pete wilted in the heat of the Florida summer.Is there a child out there in the world looking wistfully into his or her mother's eyes and saying, "Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a snake catcher?"
In 2017, two renowned snake catchers from India’s mountain-dwelling Irula tribe bagged only 33 pythons after chanting across the Everglades for two months.