A 16-foot long python snake has been captured and killed in Florida and a deer was found in its stomach.
When they cut open the belly of the Burnese python, officials in south Florida found a 76-pound, fully intact female deer, reports the Huffington Post.
South Florida Water Management District said the female python weighed in at 215.4 pounds with the deer and 139.1 pounds without it.
The snake's girth expanded to accommodate the deer and measured an enormous 44.1-inches. It measured 15.65 feet from the top of its head to the bottom of its tail.
This is clearly an extreme event, said Skip Snow, a biologist and python specialist, to the Sun Sentinel. It shows you they can eat huge things.
Pythons have been discovered with deer remains in the past, but this is the first time one has been caught and killed after just having consumed the deer. Thus, allowing biologists to see exactly how large of prey pythons are capable of holding.
The python was caught in the Everglades of Florida and is one of the largest reptiles ever caught in South Florida.
Snow said: The python, an ambush predator, had staked out a known deer trail, he said. When the deer walked by, the snake presumably seized the animal in its sharp, backward-pointing teeth, crushed the deer under its weight and coiled around it, killing the deer before consuming it.
It was killed by a shotgun blast. They killed the snake in an effort to prevent the species from spreading north, reports the Huffington Post.
The Sun Sentinel states that Burnese pythons have established a significant breeding population in the Everglades.
They arrived in the area via the exotic pet business. Most snakes were likely either released by their owners or escaped. In captivity, pythons can grow to 8-feet within a year, according to the University of Florida reported by the Huffington Post.
Owners cannot handle this astronomical growth so they release the reptile into the wild and it then threatens the fragile ecosystem of the area.
Pythons are even capable of killing people.
Such was the case in 2009 when a 2-year-old girl was strangled to death in Florida after the family's Burnese python escaped from its tank. Her parents were charged in the case.
These pythons typically eat smaller mammals and birds. But the larger pythons have been known to eat deer, alligators, and hogs.