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Burmese Pythons Hatching All Over Southwest Florida, Increasing Threat To Wildlife

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A Burmese python is seen on display at the registration event and press conference for the start of the 2013 Python Challenge (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Burmese python is seen on display at the registration event and press conference for the start of the 2013 Python Challenge (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Burmese python eggs are hatching all over Southwest Florida, increasing the threat to the native wildlife species.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is asking for help in locating the snakes and their eggs.

“They’re not here to harm us, they’re just sort of expanding their range. So we’re looking to document that range expansion of this non-native invasive reptile,” Ian Bartoszek, a Wildlife Biologist with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, told WINK.

He explained that the hatchlings, which are roughly 2 feet when they are born, will cross roadways in search of food and water. Bartoszek shared that they closely study the snakes in an attempt to learn their behaviors.

“A lot of time we find these animals dead on the road and we document them. But, when we do encounter them alive we will humanely euthanize them in the wild,” Bartoszek told WINK.

He said that female snakes have been sitting on their eggs for the past two months so more Burmese pythons are bound to be seen by the public since they are now hatching.

Bartoszek told WINK that if people do spot a Burmese python to take photos of it and if possible get the GPS location. Then report the sighting to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission webpage at www.ivegot1.org.

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