Surge of giant snakes in Everglades prompts call for ban

MIAMI -- Water managers dispatched two experts to Washington, D.C., recently to back a controversial congressional bill targeting an Everglades problem that seems to get bigger every year.

The latest, largest evidence emerged last week: A Burmese python stretching 161/2 feet, the longest yet of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of the exotic constrictors the South Florida Water Management District has pulled off its lands and levees in the past few years. More sobering: The female, found on the L-67 levee south of Tamiami Trail, was pregnant, carrying a clutch of 59 eggs, more proof the giant snakes are breeding in the wild.

The surge of invasive serpents is the prime reason the water management district, which oversees 2.2 million acres of state-owned marshlands, has thrown its support behind a House bill that could end the import and breeding not just of pythons also other tropical invaders that have settled in South Florida.

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