Image courtesy of South Florida Water Management District.
Whatever it is you think you can't do, look no further than this snake for inspiration.
At just under 16 feet long and originally weighing about 140 pounds, a Burmese python in Florida managed to catch and swallow a 76-pound deer. After the snake ate its prey, according to the South Florida Water Management District, its girth measured close to 4 feet.
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Contractors from the district found the snake while spraying non-native plants on an island about 20 miles away from the Everglades. It must've been a startling sight. Still, the workers acted quickly, and according to protocol, they shot the serpent in the head.
Burmese pythons are a growing and invasive problem in the region, possibly because pet owners have released the snakes into the wild. Or the snakes may have settled in after escaping from a facility during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, explained an L.A. Times interview with Frank Mazzotti, a professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Florida.
Mazotti told the paper that experts have removed 1,750 Burmese pythons in the last decade, and he estimates there are at least 10 times that many still slithering around in the area.
Slitting open the snake gave biologists and the public a unique opportunity to see the eating habits of these enormous reptiles. And the most graphic pictures are pretty compelling.
Next time, maybe someone will manage to film a daring snake in the act of bringing down a monstrous meal. Now, that would be a gnarly sight to see.