Record 17-foot python (with 73 eggs) found in Florida

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Officials at a South Florida wildlife preserve say they've captured the largest python ever found in the park. (Photo: Big Cypress National Preserve)

OCHOPEE, FL (CBS NEWS) — Officials at a South Florida wildlife preserve say they’ve captured the largest python ever found in the park. Officials discovered the female python, more than 17 feet long and weighing 140 pounds, on Friday in Big Cypress National Preserve.

The python had 73 developing eggs.

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Wildlife managers were using male pythons attached with radio transmitters to track down breeding females as they work to remove these invasive snakes.

Big Cypress National Preserve says on its Facebook page that one of the males was nearby the massive female.

As CBS News reported last year, captive Burmese pythons let loose by Hurricane Andrew’s destruction 27 years ago have flourished in the southern Florida ecosystem, decimating local species in the process. And now there are signs this stubbornly invasive species may be poised to make its way beyond the state’s borders.