It’s no secret that the snake situation in the Everglades has gotten out of hand – that’s putting it incredibly lightly. However bad it has gotten, at least they aren’t threatening to kill off entire species of animals in one sitting, right? Wrong.
One particularly hungry Burmese python was found with three deer in its gut, according to a study that says the snake was later euthanized. That’s right – a snake swallowed three deer. Granted one of the deer was an adult doe while the other two were one month and two weeks old. Either way you look at it, that’s some serious overeating.
Researchers discovered 12 white-tail deer hooves and 10 dewclaws inside the snake along with clumps of fur and pieces of bone.
“If a python is capable of eating three deer in three months, what else are they eating that we don’t know about, asked Scott Boback, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and co-lead author of the study on the snake. “We don’t even know how many of them are out there [in the Everglades].”
The 15.6-foot-long snake set a record many had no idea could even be accomplished. While the snake likely ate the three deer over a 90-day period, that’s an incredibly short timeframe for a python to eat three large meals.
“This gustatory feat sets a record: It’s the first invasive Burmese python caught with three deer in its gut,” said study co-lead author Scott Boback, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.
“It just begs the question, ‘How often are they eating these things?'” Bobcat said.
So maybe these snakes won’t kill an entire species, but they are well on their way to destroying one of the worlds most diverse ecosystems.