A slithering sight, the likes of which no one had seen before in those parts, was found by a team searching under dense vegetation.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida said it was the largest python ever found in Florida. The reptile had a record number of eggs.

Ian Bartoszek is the environmental science project manager for the group, an environmental advocacy organization. Next level for us.

It was like a stakeout. A man with a tracking device was looking to mate with the team's target. The researchers had to get there just the right way. Kyle Findley dodged a punch from the snake but Ian Easterling wasn't so lucky. He was hit in the face with a balled up python.

Mr Easterling swung the snake over his shoulder and took it to the truck.

He said that she put up a good fight.

The Conservancy has been following and capturing pythons for a decade in an effort to protect native species.

Mr. Bartoszek said that the native flora and fauna of Florida have been threatened by the Burmese python. The white-tailed deer is one of the many animals that the snake has become a predator to.

The threat to the Florida panther has increased due to the decreasing deer populations. Florida's state animal is now an extinction threat.

Mr. Bartoszek said he and his team were shocked when they found the first 100 pound python in the world. He said that the size of the recent discovery shows that the pythons have continued to feed on the local fauna even after they have grown older.

Researchers estimate the number of pythons in the wild in Florida to be in the tens of thousands.

You stop for a second and think about what it took to make a 215 pound snake. Mr. Bartoszek spoke. How many more snakes are out there? There may be a bigger snake in the area.

The team waited until the breeding season ended in March to begin measuring and researching the ones they found after the snake was captured.

The males are used by the Conservancy to find the females in hard-to-reach places. During the breeding season, which lasts from November to March, the snake hunters place tracking devices on the males.

The search for pythons can feel like a stakeout and even look like a crime scene, but the snake hunters say they have a lot of respect for the animals.

He said that the animal was here from no fault of their own. We know what is at stake.

McKayla Spencer said that the commission works to reduce the population of snakes. The agency has a program in the summer in which the public is encouraged to hunt and remove pythons in order to win a prize. There will be a challenge from August 5 to August 14.

The state wants to improve detection of pythons in the wild because they are skilled at camouflaging and living in remote areas.

She said that they need to try a lot of different ways to control the animals.

Stephen Leatherman, an earth and environment professor at Florida International University in Miami, said that the sale of pythons was banned in 2012 because of their popularity.

The people who held the pythons didn't know what to do with them when they became too large to manage. The alligator, which is native to Florida, is no longer the top predator in the Everglades.

Mr. Leatherman said that the pythons that have made their home in Florida can't be returned because they have become genetically adapted to their new environment The deer and panthers have claimed more territory in the wetlands, which has led to a decrease in the population of animals.

He said that the animals are the worst thing for the area.

The National Park System says that the one-of-a-kind freshwater region in South and Southwest Florida is surrounded by sawgrass and has a slow- moving river. According to the National Wildlife Federation, its habitats include cypress swamps, wet prairie and mangroves.

Steve A. Johnson is a professor at the University of Florida. Wetlands are being harmed by water pollution, rising sea levels, and urban development, as well as other invaders such as the tegu lizard and cane toad.

There is no other Everglades like it in the world. It is important to preserve it because it is unique to Florida.

ImageIan Easterling, left, and Ian Bartoszek, both biologists, removing a 14-foot female Burmese python captured  in March in a mangrove in Southwest Florida.
Ian Easterling, left, and Ian Bartoszek, both biologists, removing a 14-foot female Burmese python captured in March in a mangrove in Southwest Florida.Credit...Conservancy of Southwest Florida, via Associated Press
Ian Easterling, left, and Ian Bartoszek, both biologists, removing a 14-foot female Burmese python captured  in March in a mangrove in Southwest Florida.