August 1, 2016
Staff at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium are celebrating the birth of a pair of royal pythons.
The baby snakes hatched out last weekend at the Rock-a-Nore Road wildlife attraction and are both doing well.
It’s the first time royal pythons have bred successfully at the aquarium. Mum ‘Professor’ was rescued by Customs back in 2010 after being illegally imported in to the country.
“When she first arrived she was in a terrible state and there were fears she would not survive,” said Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson.
“For her now to have babies of her own is an amazing success story and demonstrates how fully she has recovered from her ordeal,” she added.
Staff plan to hand-rear the young which will then be able to form part of the aquarium’s talks and hands-on encounter sessions.
Royal pythons live throughout West Africa on savannas or sparsely wooded plains.
The royal python gets its name from the fact that some people believe that its markings look a little like crowns.
The royal python is also known as the ball python because of its peculiar way of coiloing itself up into a tight ball if it is threatened.
There are approximately 30 different species of python in the world. Adult female royal pythons can reach close to two metres in length. The larger species, like the reticulated python, can grow to seven-and-a-half metres or more.