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You messed with the wrong reptile! Python loses death match with Florida alligator and ends up in its jaws

By Dailymail | December 25th 2013

Adapted from DailyMail

Parks officials in Florida have been fighting a losing battle to rid the Everglades of invasive Burmese pythons, not realizing that their secret weapon may be the state reptile.

A remarkable photo posted on the Facebook page of Everglades National Park Monday depicted a death match between a massive gator and a python - with the former coming out on top.

The picture of the tenacious reptile devouring its slithering opponent was accompanied by a post offering some information about the battle between the two critters.

According to the message, earlier this month park staffers were contacted by resident Steve Greene, who reported ‘another “Gator and Python incident.’

The eyewitness told officials that as he was heading to Royal Palm State Park, he spotted an American alligator thrashing around.

‘The gator was moving fast and very determined to get under the bridge,’ Mr Greene reportedly said.

Parks officials explained in the Facebook post that the Burmese python is an exotic, invasive species that doesn’t belong in the Everglades.

‘Occasionally, the American Alligator, an apex predator in the Everglades, is seen consuming Burmese Pythons,’ the Facebook message read. ‘and sometimes the reverse!’

The snakes have no natural predators, they can eat anything in their path, and they can reproduce in large numbers.

No one is sure how many of the non-native species live in the Everglades but some estimates put the number at 100,000 animals.
Burmese pythons can reach 23 feet or more in length and weighing up to 200lbs with a girth as big as a telephone pole.

By comparison, the American alligator, which is more than 150million years old, can reach a length of up to 18 feet and tip the scales at 450-600lbs.



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