16-foot-plus python caught in Broward Everglades

A female Burmese python that stretched more than 16 feet long was caught Saturday in the Everglades of western Broward County, and her nest of up to 50 eggs was destroyed.

The 165-pound python was spotted under a house at an Everglades camp about 4 miles south of Alligator Alley. Cooperating in the capture were Brian Van Landingham, Frank Branca and Ron Bergeron.

Native to southern Asia, Burmese pythons imported or bred as pets have colonized the Everglades, taking a huge toll on native mammals, birds and alligators. Bergeron, a board member of the South Florida Water Management District, said the removal of the big predator would save native Florida wildlife.

“The Burmese python poses a significant threat to the Florida Everglades by disrupting the natural food chain,” Bergeron said. “With good fortune, we were able to find a large female, and remove her and an entire nest of up to 50 baby snakes which would have continued killing off our precious habitat.”