June 22, 2016
Staff at Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium are preparing themselves for no fewer than three royal births next month.
The royals in question are a trio of royal python snake eggs which are being looked after in an incubator and are due to hatch out at the end of July.
The eggs are the first to have been produced by the Rock-a-Nore Road attraction’s new python parents; mum Professor and dad Bruce.
“Everyone here is very excited, it’s not every day you get to be at a royal birth; let alone triplets!” said Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson.
“Python eggs take 60 days to hatch and so we are pretty confident the babies should be born on, or very close to, July 26th.
“If that is the case we don’t think they will share their birthday with any members of the royal family but it is the birthday of actress Helen Mirren who has played the Queen on several occasions and is virtually royalty herself,” she added.
Keepers took the decision to move the eggs to an incubator to prevent them being accidentally damaged or disturbed.
If they do hatch successfully it is hoped 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.