At Collier-Seminole State Park in Florida, officials have documented a Burmese python devour a deer that weighed more than the snake. The 31.5 pound snake regurgitated a 35-pound fawn. A statement posted on the Facebook page of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida stated they:
“… documented a Burmese python eating a white-tailed deer that weighed more than the python itself. This is believed to be the largest predator/prey ratio ever documented for the Burmese python, and possibly for any species of python. The findings will be published in the March 2018 issue of Herpetological Review.
According to the Medium, this incident is further proof of the python’s negative impact on native wildlife in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. Researchers worry that snakes could adversely affect the population of the white tail deer thus endangering the dwindling population of the Florida panther whose primary diet are deer.
The team followed the snake and watched it regurgitate the deer which was 110 percent of the snake’s body mass. Scientists are now more convinced that the Burmese pythons have been responsible for a 90 percent decline in small mammal populations in the area including rabbits and other vermin.
Florida remains involved in an active python eradication project. The snakes are a product of the pet trade and are not native to the area. As collectors dumped the snakes in the Everglades, their populations increased exponentially. The South Florida Water Management District pays eligible hunters $8.10 an hour to look for pythons on the land it manages. Bonuses are paid when larger snake nests with eggs are eliminated. According to researchers, there are more than 100,000 snakes in the Everglades.
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