Researcher says Its surreal to see that in the field after 31.5 lb invasive Burmese python swallows 35 lb fawn
Researchers studying invasive Burmese pythons in Florida lately came upon something they had never seen before: an 11 ft python that had eaten an entire deer that weighed more than the snake itself.
The wildlife biologists stumbled upon the bloated snake in Collier Seminole state park. When they moved it, it began regurgitating a white-tailed deer fawn.
Biologist Ian Bartoszek told the Naples Daily News the fawn weighed 35 lb; the snake 31.5 lb.
” We were sitting there just trying to process that an animal this sizing could get its head around what turned out to be a deer ,” Bartoszek told.” It’s surreal to see that in the field .”
Bartoszek said it was the largest python-to-prey weight difference he had measured.
Burmese pythons, who are capable of grow to nearly 20 ft, were brought to south Florida as pets in the late 1970 s. Released into the wild, they have become a problematic invasive species.
White-tailed deer are an important food source for Florida’s imperiled panthers, so the researchers are concerned the pervasive snakes could also affect the lives of the big cats.
If the snake had been left in the wild, it would have digested the entire deer, Bartoszek told. The predator-to-prey sizing ratio, he told, stunned his squad.
” It proved my squad and myself what we were actually dealing with out there, what this python is capable of ,” he told the newspaper.
Read more: www.theguardian.com