Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Giant African Rock Python found in Pretoria!

The photograph below was scanned from the front-page of this weeks edition of the Rekord-East newspaper, dated 4 February 2011.

The caption on the top right of the photograph reads:
"Snake expert, Mr Arno Naudé and Mr Hencke Marais of Tshwane Nature Conversation with the 3,45m long python."

The accompanying article was written by Bonnie Tubbs - Rekord:

History was made at the Groenkloof nature reserve last week when the first breedable python was released at the reserve.

Rekord reported last week on a giant African Rock Python that was found and captured in the Lynnwood area, in Sappers Contour Street, on January 15.

At approximately 3,5m in length, the sizeable snake drew a considerable amount of attention.

Mr Arno Naudé, a snake expert and chairman of the Transvaal Herpetological Association, captured the python after being called out by Zambli Security Services, who did not have the capacity to capture a snake of that size.

He says shortly after the capture he was in contact with Tshwane Nature Conservation and subsequently they facilitated the release of the python into the Groenkloof nature reserve on January 24.
(The story continues on page 2 of the Rekord – Print Version - dated 4 Feb 2011)

When I first read this story in last weeks print-edition of Rekord, which is now available online here, my first reaction was, how did a snake that size get there in the first place, because the area is expansively urbanized? The fact that such a huge snake actually survived is also a miracle! The street where this enormous reptile was found lies almost adjacent to the very busy N1 highway. I thus suspect that the reptile possibly originated from the less urbanized Koedoespoort region, which lies to the north of Lynnwood (not visible on the image below), but for the snake to get there it had to survive crossing other developed areas. The Google satellite image below gives some indication of the urbanization in the area. I’ve highlighted Sappers Contour Street in white on the map.

Click on the image for a larger view.

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