2 massive mama pythons, dozens of hatched and unhatched eggs discovered in Florida preserve

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A nursery raid of sorts in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve led to officials capturing two female Burmese pythons, dozens of their hatchlings, and 23 eggs, CBS Miami reports.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said officer Matthew Rubenstein was on routine patrol in the preserve on July 11, when he ran into Alex McDuffie, a python contractor, who had just bagged a hatchling.

The two looked around the area and found 18 more hatchlings, according to CBS Miami. 

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FWC Officer Matthew Rubenstein with a 10-foot female Burmese python that was found sitting on eggs.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission


Sensing a nest nearby, they continued to search and found a mulch pile with a 10-foot female Burmese Python sitting on 23 unhatched eggs, CBS Miami reports.

But that wasn’t the end.

A few feet away, they found a second nest with 74 recently-hatched eggs.

The female python and hatchlings were given to McDuffie and the 23 unhatched eggs were turned over to the Big Cypress Python research program, CBS Miami reports.

The following night, McDuffie returned and captured the female python from the second nest — she came in at 17 feet and 6 inches, according to the FWC.

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FWC officer Matthew Rubenstein and python contractor Alex McDuffie at a nest where a 10-foot female Burmese python was sitting on 23 unhatched eggs.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission


Last month, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida said that biologists caught the heaviest Burmese python ever captured in Florida. The snake was nearly 18 feet long and weighed 215 pounds; it also had 122 unhatched eggs.

Record-Breaking Python-Florida
This Dec. 2021 photo provided by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida shows biologists Ian Bartoszek, right, and Ian Easterling, center, with intern Kyle Findley and a 17.7-foot, 215-pound female Burmese python captured by tracking a male scout snake in Picayune Strand State Forest. 

Conservancy of Southwest Florida via AP


The Burmese python is an invasive species, and capturing its females is critical to disrupting their breeding cycle. In fact, the state of Florida has a python removal program, which runs for two weeks in August and rewards participants with prizes.


Burmese python invasion: Fighting invasive species

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