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It also noted the 140-pound snake was carrying more than 70 developing eggs - so, in effect, the capture helped eliminate 74 pythons from the Everglades.

The 17ft female weighs a humungous 140lbs and was found in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Florida holds competitions in order to encourage hunters to remove these snakes and keep a check on their population.

Researchers use male pythons wearing radio transmitters to find breeding grounds.

As well as removing invasive snakes, Big Cypress said it uses each discovery to collect data for research, develop new removal tools and learn how pythons are using the area.

Hunters working to remove invasive reptiles from a wildlife preserve in the Florida Everglades have captured a 5.2-metre Burmese python by tracing the movements of a potential breeding partner.

A massive, record-setting 17-foot long python with 73 eggs has been captured at a south Florida reserve.

State wildlife officials estimate there are as many as 100,000 pythons living in the vast swamps outside Miami.

According to a 2012 study by the United States Geological Survey, the region has witnessed a major drop in the population of raccoons, opossums and bobcats, with several species of rabbits and foxes having almost disappeared altogether.

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The Burmese python is native to Southeast Asia and was introduced to Florida in the 1990s, when people released their overgrown pets into the wild. The searchers found only 68 snakes.