Rare snake mesmerises Queenswood residents

Albino purple phase reticulated python was found dead.

Queenswood residents have been mesmerised by a unique snake found in the road.

Pictures of the snake were posted on the Facebook group of Snakes of SA, and it is suspected the reticulated python was a pet or belonged to a nearby pet shop.

Sadly for snake lovers, according the post by Linda Lombard said it was found dead on the pavement.

Also read: Snake found inside toilet in Pretoria

Rekord is trying to establish ownership of the snake.

SPCA inspector, Carlos Fernandus, said he had not received any reports of a missing snake in the Moot.

“It is very strange that no one reported it because it is such a rare snake. It could be that the snake died from eating something,” he said.

According to an article in Ultimate Exotics, a reptile and exotic pet magazine, a reticulated python is one of the world’s longest snakes and among the three heaviest.

“Like all pythons, they are non-venomous constrictors and normally not considered dangerous to humans,” according to the article.

“However, cases of people killed, and in at least one case eaten, by reticulated pythons have been documented.”

The natural habitat for reticulated pythons is the rain forest, woodlands and grasslands, and it is associated with rivers such as streams and lakes.

Also read: Three highly venomous snakes caught in east

Their natural diet includes mammals and occasionally birds.

Near human habitation, they are known to snatch stray chickens, cats, and dogs.

“As with all pythons, they are primarily ambush hunters, usually waiting until prey wanders within strike range before seizing it in their coils and killing by constriction,” the magazine said.

“Increased popularity in the pet trade is due largely to increased efforts in captive breeding and selectively bred mutations such as the ‘albino’ and ‘tiger’ strains.

“They can make good captives, but keepers should have previous experience with such large constrictors to ensure safety to both animal and keeper.

“They do not attack humans by nature but will bite and possibly constrict if they feel threatened or mistake a hand for food. While not venomous, large pythons can inflict serious injuries, sometimes requiring stitches. The huge size and attractive pattern of these snakes has made them favourite zoo exhibits.”

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to editorial@rekord.co.za or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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  AUTHOR
Kayla van Petegem

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