It was a Burmese python vs. a much larger white-tailed deer — and the python won when it managed to gobble it whole.
Members of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, a grassroots environmental advocacy group based in Naples, first stumbled on the 11-foot female python in April 2015 at the Collier-Seminole State Park, according to a Medium article from the organization.
It appears to be the largest predator/prey ratio ever recorded for that particular species — and possibly other python species.
The findings will now be published in the March 2018 issue of Herpotological Review.
"This observation is another important piece of evidence for the negative impact invasive Burmese pythons are having on native wildlife across the Greater Everglades Ecosystem," Ian Bartoszek, a Conservancy of Southwest Florida wildlife biologist, said in a Medium article.
"Imagine the potential consequences to the state and federally protected Florida panther if Burmese pythons adversely affect the number of white-tailed deer, a panther's primary prey."
Researchers could see the outline of the deer in the python's stomach before they captured it.
After moving it to a different location, the python regurgitated a white-tailed deer. The group later weighed the python in at about 31.5 pounds, while the deer weighed about 35 pounds. The snake didn't survive.
Researchers with the group have been following Florida's Burmese python population very closely since 2013, as it is an invasive species.
The group has been documenting the snake's activities to help control its population in Florida and prevent damage to native wildlife populations.
According to the National Park Service, more than 2,000 Burmese pythons have been removed from state parks in Florida since 2002.
Originating from southeast Asia, the species' presence has been attributed to people accidentally or intentionally releasing them into the wild.