The Conservancy of Southwest Florida recently released photos of a 31-pound Florida Burmese python regurgitating a 35-pound whitetail deer fawn. This is believed to be the largest predator/prey ratio ever documented for a Burmese python, and possibly for any species of python.
According to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, officials stumbled upon the 11-foot female snake in Collier-Seminole State Park in Naples with a "large food bulge" back in April 2015.
After capturing the snake and moving it to an open area, the snake began to regurgitate the young white-tailed deer.
“This observation is another important piece of evidence for the negative impact invasive Burmese pythons are having on native wildlife across the Greater Everglades Ecosystem” said Ian Bartoszek, Conservancy of Southwest Florida wildlife biologist. “Imagine the potential consequences to the state and federally protected Florida panther if Burmese pythons adversely affect the number of white-tailed deer, a panther’s primary prey.”
Some studies suggest the Burmese python is responsible for a 90 percent decline in small mammal populations in the eastern Everglades. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s mission is to protect the region’s water, land wildlife and future.
According to The Guardian, it is believed approximately 150,000 pythons inhabit Florida's waterways thanks to their rapid rate of reproduction.
To try to get the problem under control, wildlife officials have tried a number of different methods including training sniffer dogs to locate the snakes, bringing in snake hunters from India's mountain-dwelling Irula tribe, hosting snake-hunting competitions and advertising for minimum-wage civilian python-catchers. But, these attempts at controlling the population have barely made a dent in the population.
What do you think should be done about the Florida pythons?
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.