Officials stumbled upon the 11-foot female snake in Collier-Seminole State Park in Naples with a "large food bulge" back in April 2015, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida said in a blog post Thursday.
Wildlife biologists in Florida said they found a Burmese python eating an entire white-tailed deer - a prey amounting to 111 percent of the snake's body mass. The group later weighed the python in at about 31.5 pounds, while the deer weighed about 35 pounds.
It was a shocking sight, even for Florida scientists, where the python is an invasive species.
While this invasive python is known to kill and ingest large prey, this kill was particularly unique as the predator-to-prey ratio is the largest on record, officials said.
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Burmese pythons, which are native to southeast Asia and can grow up to 20ft in length, were first introduced to the southern United States in the late 1970s and have thrived in the state's humid climate. Researchers tag pythons and then those pythons lead them to other snakes during breeding season.
A total of 20 adult male pythons are now under surveillance through radio telemetry, leading researchers to more pythons during the breeding season.
Bartoszek said the findings "almost did not compute", according to USA Today. Adult female pythons and their eggs are humanely euthanized and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida's wildlife biologists then perform a necropsy to examine the animal, log data and collect genetic samples for further studies. "We are keeping the invasive snakes from multiplying and reducing the overall impact on our native wildlife populations".
This project is primarily funded through private philanthropic support.