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File photo of University of Florida researchers holding a 162-pound Burmese python captured in Everglades National Park, Fla.

Michael R. Rochford, University of Florida/AP

Deadly pythons moved in Florida keep finding their way back

  • Article by: JENNIFER KAY
  • Associated Press
  • March 19, 2014 - 10:03 AM

MIAMI — Researchers have discovered something new about Burmese pythons: the invasive snakes are really good at finding their way home.

Researchers caught six pythons in South Florida's Everglades National Park, implanted radio transmitters under their skins and released them up to two dozen miles from where they were captured. Surprisingly, the snakes found their way home within months.

According to research being published Wednesday in the journal Biology Letters, the pythons slithered with a purpose instead of moving randomly across the wetlands. It's unclear how the snakes mapped their routes.

The discovery about pythons' unusual navigational abilities doesn't immediately help Florida's wildlife agencies trying to curb the python population in Florida wetlands. The tan, splotchy snakes are notoriously hard to spot in the Everglades even when tracked with transmitters.

© 2014 Star Tribune