FWC trapper catches 17-foot Burmese python in Florida Everglades

On July 2, 2024, a Florida Fish & Wildlife (FWC) python trapper named Matthew Kogo caught an apex predator, a 17-foot, 1-inch Burmese python, in the Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area west of Fort Lauderdale. This capture was significant due to the upcoming 2024 Florida Python Challenge. Experts warned that the hotter temperatures, constant rainfall, and humidity during hurricane season make Burmese pythons more visible in residential areas.

Burmese pythons are invasive and harmful to the natural wildlife in the Florida Everglades. They eat various species, such as deer and alligators, reducing some mammal populations by as much as 90%. Since they are exothermic, meaning they prefer warm and humid environments, they are more active during warmer nighttime temperatures over 75 degrees, according to Dr. Andrew Durso, a wildlife biologist and professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.

If you come across a Burmese python, it’s best to contact the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission and report the sighting. This invasive species poses a significant threat to the ecosystem in the Florida Everglades.

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