EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. — Officials in the Florida Everglades have captured and killed a 16-foot-long Burmese python that had just eaten an adult deer.
Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, said workers found the snake on Thursday. The reptile was one of the largest ever found in South Florida.
Hardin said the python had recently consumed a 76-pound female deer that had died. He said it was an important capture to help stop the spread of pythons further north.
The python was killed with a shotgun blast.PhotoBlog: Huge python found in Florida
Skip Snow, a biologist and python specialist at Everglades National Park, who conducted the snake necropsy, said the snake had a girth of 44 inches with the deer inside.
"This is clearly an extreme event,” he told the Sun-Sentinel. “It shows you they can eat huge things."
The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.