Waukegan police responded about 10:00 a.m. Monday to a report that a large snake was found near Seahorse Drive and Clayton Street. A light-colored Burmese Python about 12-15-feet long was discovered. The snake was transported by three Waukegan animal control officers to the Lake Forest Wildlife Discovery Center. The snake was lethargic and had fresh open wounds and scars on its dorsal (back) region. Rob Carmichael, curator of the Lake Forest Wildlife Discovery Center, said the injuries could have been caused by live prey that may have been fed to the snake. The snake was contained at the Lake Forest Wildlife Discovery Center at a quarantine area.
Burmese Pythons are among the largest snakes in the world and are native to tropic and sub-tropic areas of Southern Asia and Southeast Asia, and may not have survived upcoming cooler weather this week.
Ironically, the world record maximum length for a Burmese Python was recorded at Serpent Safari, Gurnee, Illinois. The female snake named “Baby” was measured after her death and was determined to be 18 feet 10 inches. The 27-year-old Burmese Python snake was on public display during the period 1994–2003 at Serpent Safari — a permanent herpetological exhibition located in Gurnee Mills.
Video from 2009 when “Baby” was about 14-feet long at Serpent Safari in Gurnee, Illinois.
In July 2009 a Burmese Python escaped from a cage in a house in Oxford, Florida and entered the crib of two-year-old Shaunnia Hare. The snake was found constricted around the baby girl in her crib. Shaunnia was found unresponsive with bite marks on her head. Paramedics were unable to revive the baby girl (See The Cardinal Python Kills Oxford, Florida Girl; 911 Call: “Our Stupid Snake Got Out in the Middle of the Night”)
Pythons can swim six miles and can hold their breath underwater for 30 minutes. In two years they can grow from 20 inches to 12 feet.
— PBS Video Invasion fo the Giant Pythons (50:23)
Burmese Pythons are an invasive species in Florida, and were first discovered in Everglades National Park in 1979. The population of native mid-size mammals, such as raccoons, opossums, and rabbits have declined while the snake population has increased. Wildlife experts area concerned that expanding population of Burmese Pythons can eat almost any native animal in Florida. In September 2006, a 13-foot Burmese Python was discovered exploded with the tail of an American Alligator sticking out of a hole in the snake’s mid-section. Experts have hoped alligators will help control the snake population, but the competition between the two animals appears to be about a draw.
GRAPHIC PBS VIDEO: Alligators were once the undisputed reptile kings of the Everglades. But who would win a battle now — alligator or python?
A female euthanized Burmese Python was discovered with 87 eggs during necropsy. The snake was over 17-feet long and In 2009, the South Florida Water Management District estimated over 5,000 Burmese pythons were living in South Florida. Experts believe the snakes are successfully breeding in the wild in South Florida.
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Satellite map of Clayton and Seahorse, Waukegan.
See also …
Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 47(1):1-6, 2012 The Corrected Lengths of Two Well-known Giant Pythons and the Establishment of a New Maximum Length Record for Burmese Pythons, Python bivittatus [PDF]
National Geographic News Photo in the News: Python Bursts After Eating Gator (Update)
National Geographic News Biggest Burmese Python Found in Florida—17.7 Feet, 87 Eggs
PBS “Invasion of Pythons” (full episode)
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