Record-setting 17-foot long python found near Florida Everglades. It was carrying 73 eggs

Joel Shannon
A team with the Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee, Florida holds a female python measuring over 17 feet long and weighing 140 pounds, with 73 developing eggs (AFP Photo/Handout)

A national preserve in South Florida has reported catching a python that was more than 17 feet long and weighed 140 pounds.

The female reptile is the largest ever caught at Big Cypress National Preserve, according to a Friday social media post by the preserve. It was carrying 73 developing eggs at the time.

An August report from Smithsonian Magazine says an invasive Burmese python hybrid can now be found across more than 1,000 square miles of South Florida. The snakes –which can grow to 23 feet in length and weigh 200 pounds – are causing major ecological problems in the area, the publication reports.

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The Big Cypress snake was caught using new tracking technology, the national preserve said in a social media post. Authorities used radio transmitters to track male pythons; the males' locations are then used to find breeding females.

"The team not only removes the invasive snakes, but collects data for research, develop new removal tools, and learn how the pythons are using the Preserve," a social media post about the removal says. "The team tracked one of the sentinel males with the transmitter and found this massive female nearby."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Record-setting 17-foot long python found near Florida Everglades. It was carrying 73 eggs