Burmese Python

Arthur - Our youngest Burmese, Arthur is a normal pattern and starting to do educational events. He will become a large part of our ambassador animal group as he grows.
Maui - This sweet baby girl is still a bit on the small side. Her prior owner was unsure on her actual age so she may or may not get much bigger. She is kind of our mini version of Sebastian. She will be used for education in places where larger snakes are prohibited.
Sebastian - If you've seen us at an event, you've likely met Sebastian our albino Burmese. Unfortunately, he is not allowed at events in Pender County due to his size but we bring him everywhere else. He is the most gentle snake you'll ever meet.
Common Name: Burmese Python
Scientific Name: Python bivittatus
Type: Python
Diet: Carnivore
Average Life Span: 15-25 years
Size: Averaging 10-12 feet in captivity, Up to 18 feet in the wild.
Weight: 200+ lbs
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable
Current Population Trend: Decreasing

About the Burmese Python

The Burmese python is a dark-colored snake with many brown blotches bordered in black down the back. In the wild, Burmese pythons typically grow to 5 m (16 ft), while specimens of more than 7 m (23 ft) are uncommon. This species is sexually dimorphic in size; females average only slightly longer, but are considerably heavier and bulkier than the males.

Habitat

The Burmese python occurs throughout Southern and Southeast Asia, including eastern India, southeastern Nepal, western Bhutan, southeastern Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, northern continental Malaysia, and in southern China in Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi, and Yunnan. It also occurs in Hong Kong, and in Indonesia on Java, southern Sulawesi, Bali, and Sumbawa. It has also been reported on Kinmen. It is an excellent swimmer and needs a permanent source of water. It lives in grasslands, marshes, swamps, rocky foothills, woodlands, river valleys, and jungles with open clearings. It is a good climber and has a prehensile tail. There are natural predators of the Burmese python, like the tiger and the King cobra.


Invasive Species

Python invasion has been particularly extensive, notably across South Florida, where a large number of pythons can now be found in the Florida Everglades. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was deemed responsible for the destruction of a python-breeding facility and zoo, and these escaped snakes spread and populated areas into the Everglades. Also, between 1996 and 2006, the Burmese python gained popularity in the pet trade, with more than 90,000 snakes imported into the US. By 2007, the Burmese python was found in northern Florida and in the coastal areas of the Florida Panhandle. The importation of Burmese pythons was banned in the United States in January 2012 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.


Behavior

Burmese pythons are mainly nocturnal rainforest dwellers. When young, they are equally at home on the ground and in trees, but as they gain girth, they tend to restrict most of their movements to the ground. They are also excellent swimmers, being able to stay submerged for up to half an hour. Burmese pythons spend the majority of their time hidden in the underbrush. They tend to be a solitary species and are usually found in pairs only when mating.


Diet

Its diet consists primarily of appropriately sized birds and mammals. The snake uses its sharp, rearward-pointing teeth to seize its prey, then wraps its body around the prey, at the same time contracting its muscles, killing the prey by constriction. In captivity, its diet consists primarily of commercially available, appropriately sized rats, graduating to larger prey such as rabbits and poultry as it grows. Exceptionally large pythons may even require larger food items such as pigs or goats, and are known to have attacked and eaten alligators and adult deer in Florida.


Conservation

Wild populations are considered to be "threatened" and are listed on Appendix II of CITES. All the giant pythons (including the Indian python, the African rock python, and the reticulated python) have historically been slaughtered to supply the world leather market, as well as for folk medicines, and captured for the pet trade. Some are also killed for food, particularly in China. The IUCN has listed the Burmese python as "vulnerable", reflecting its overall population decline. Important reasons for the decline are trade for skins and for food; habitat degradation may be a problem in some upland areas. In Hong Kong, it is a protected species under Wild Animals Protection Ordinance Cap 170.


Captivity
Burmese pythons are often sold as pets, and are made popular by their attractive coloration and apparently easy-going nature. However, these animals have a rapid growth rate, and often exceed 6.9 ft in length in a year. By age four, they will have reached their adult size, though they continue growing very slowly throughout their lives, which may exceed 20 years. Although this species has a reputation for docility, they are very powerful animals – capable of inflicting severe bites, even killing adult keepers by constriction. They also consume large amounts of food, and due to their size, require large, often custom-built, secure enclosures. Burmese pythons are often overfed, causing obesity-related problems to be common in captive Burmese pythons. Although pythons are typically afraid of people due to their high stature, and generally avoid humans, special care is still required when handling them. Given their adult strength, multiple handlers are usually recommended.

Source: Wikipedia