DURBAN - Inspector Israel Silevu, from the Kloof and Highway SPCA, responded to one of his most favourite calls on Tuesday – the rescue of an African rock python, the SPCA wrote on its Facebook page.
When Silevu arrived, he “saw the most beautiful and healthy African rock python” which was taken to the Kloof and Highway SPCA for a welfare check.
“When he was measured, he was 3.4m long and weighed 19.48kg,” the SPCA said.
The male python was released in a safe place on Wednesday.
The SPCA thanked the community of Molweni, west of Durban, for calling the SPCA to help.
Kloof and Highway SPCA manager Barbara Patrick said their inspectors received animal training.
“Inspector Israel Silevu has a passion for snakes and is very experienced in handling snakes,” Patrick said.
She said the snake was in very good health and was kept overnight before being released on Wednesday into the wild at a safe location where it could live its life away from people.
According to the South African National Biodiversity Institute, African rock pythons grow up to 5m and are the largest snakes in southern Africa. Males can weigh up to 44kg and grow to 4.25m, and females up to 55kg and 5m.
Southern African pythons are fairly widespread throughout African countries but, in southern Africa, they are restricted mainly to the Lowveld, reaching KwaZulu-Natal’s south coast and extending all the way up the Limpopo River valley to Lobatse in Botswana as into the Northern Cape, SANBI said.
Pythons eat dassies, cane rats, hares, monkeys, small antelopes and game birds. They also feed on fish, lizards and crocodiles. Juveniles consume mostly ground-living birds and rodents.
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