Yesterday it was reported that a huge reticulated python (Python reticulatus) was captured on the island of Penang, Malaysia. A construction team building a flyover on the busy tourist destination found the snake coiled under a tree. It was estimated to be 8m long and weigh in excess of 250kg. If estimates are correct, it would have made this snake the longest living specimen. It has however since died.
The snake apparently laid one egg before “going quiet”. Unsurprisingly the rough handling of the captured snake almost certainly contributed to its death. One video shows a construction worker kicking the snake, to seemingly provoke an agressive response:
Perhaps what’s most surprising is that a python of this size has managed to remain undetected for such a long time on an island that is so heavily populated with tourists.
Until the snake is properly measured, we won’t know if it was indeed the longest known snake, but either way, a magnificent animal has been needlessly killed.
On a personal note I would say that the length and weight have been somewhat exaggerated. Like ‘the one that got away’ fishing stories, the bigger the snake means the bigger the news story.
If you want to read more about giant snakes, read my other blog article here.