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Pythons are creating huge breeding grounds in Southwest Florida

Ian Bartoszek, a wildlife biologist with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida's Environmental Science Department, told WINK News that 10,000 pounds of snakes have been captured within a 40-square-mile area. [Times files]
Published Apr. 17, 2018

NAPLES — Biologists are trying hard to clean up a massive python problem in Southwest Florida, according to WINK News.

Ian Bartoszek, a wildlife biologist with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida's Environmental Science Department, told WINK that 10,000 pounds of snakes have been captured within a 40-mile area during the last five breeding seasons.

RELATED: This Burmese python gobbled an entire deer in Florida e_SClBBiologists are capturing the snakes by using a white male python, named Argo, who has a tracking device implanted in him, according to WINK.

Argo recently led Bartoszek's team to a group of snakes at a large breeding ground — one of which was a female that was about to lay 40 eggs, according to WINK.

"Eight pythons that added up to 280 pounds of snake all together," Bartoszek told WINK.

Less than a week later, Argo led them to another group of snakes that Bartoszek told WINK was one of the largest ever found in Collier County. It included six male pythons and one massive egg-laying female.

RELATED: Florida must kill pythons. PETA has trouble with how

These pythons are hurting the food chain of southwest Florida, Bartoszek said.

"One python had the remains of a possum and a bobcat, many others are deer and fawn," Bartoszek told WINK. "They are definitely eating all the way up the food chain and that's very worrisome, because if they are impacting deer, that's panther food."

Experts ask that if you see a python in the wild, don't approach it, but try and take a photo and report its location.

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