Burmese Python

ZOO LOCATION: Scutes Family Gallery

Lifespan: Up to 20 years

Wild Diet: Carnivorous; amphibians, lizards, other snakes, birds, mammals.

Zoo Diet: Rats, and rabbits.

Predators: Alligators, humans and large predatory mammals


IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Habitat/Range: Lush vegetation up to the montane forests of Southeast Asia, including China and the Malay Peninsula.

Characteristics: The Burmese python is generally 18 to 20 feet and some may grow to 25 feet.

Behavior: Like other diurnal snakes, Burmese pythons spend the morning hours soaking up the sun's warmth. This enables them to start moving around so they can look for food. In the wild, these snakes do not eat every day. They are not always successful in their attempt to capture prey. If they are lucky enough to eat, they spend the rest of the day and even the next several days or weeks, keeping warm so they can digest their meal. Equally at home on the ground or in trees, they are also excellent swimmers.

Reproduction: Oviparous. If the temperature is warmer, the eggs will most likely contain female embryos; if cooler, the eggs will contain male embryos. A female python can lay about 15 to 50 eggs. Females stay with their eggs, usually encircling them, and remain with them until they hatch. During this time, the female does not leave her eggs and does not eat. Once the hatchlings cut their way out of their eggs, they are on their own.

Conservation: There is a high amount of exportation for the pet trade. The skin of Indian pythons is highly valued in the fashion industry due to its exotic look. In its native range it is also hunted as a source of food.