Nest of python hatchlings released
Durban - Southern African python hatchlings were safely released into the wild this week by the team at the Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh.
The 60-70cm long hatchlings had been incubated with a clutch of eggs at the centre, after their mother was removed from the home of a panic-stricken resident in Widenham, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, earlier this year.
In January, the centre’s reptile curator Wade Killian received a call from the distressed homeowner who feared for the safety of her dogs after spotting a large female Southern African python on her riverside property.
Killian spotted the python had a clutch of eggs and both were removed. The eggs were placed in an incubator and the python was safely released into a suitable habitat the next day.
“Female Southern African Pythons lay their eggs in abandoned burrows and remain with the eggs throughout the incubation period until the offspring hatch and disperse soon after. Southern African pythons are a protected species as they are highly sought after for bushmeat and traditional medicine. They reach up to 6m in length and are generally found around water sources from which they often ambush their prey,” said Killian.
Females can lay between 30 and 60 eggs which are roughly the size of a tennis ball.
Crocworld offers a free service identifying and removing snakes for the communities of Scottburgh and surrounds and can be contacted on 039 976 1103.
The Independent on Saturday