The 3,5--metre python gobbled up two live chickens. Illustration: Lesley Barnard

Python visits zoo


Justin Steyn   l   Views: 191

Civil rights activist N J van Heerden and his workers stumbled into a visitor of the slithery kind in the form of a python, which had a hearty breakfast of two of his domestic chickens.

The visitor was discovered in the early hours of Friday, 23 February.

Tongue-in-cheek, van Heerden, the Change for Bela-Bela leader, said in an interview on Monday, 26 February, that as much as it was sad to have lost two of his chickens, he was “happy” that he had supplied the meal for the constrictor.

The staff, visitors and inhabitants of the WaterFront Animal Farm and Nursery at Bela-Bela had the surprise of their lifetime when they stumbled into the 3,5-metre constrictor, struggling to slither away on a bellyful of live chickens.

By then the python had breakfasted on two of the farm’s prized show roosters, apparently long before the pre-dawn cocks crowed.

Van Heerden said the behemoth constrictor was found lazing from the previous night’s feasting.

“She was found by one of our workers, and I was informed immediately. I did not expect such a monster because we usually find snakes (other species) which are about a metre or so in length,” he said

Van Heerden continued: “It’s all just part of the circle of life, and ever since we opened the farm, there have been a few strange animals around,” Van Heerden said.

Snake catcher Ruan Venter, said the python had so much energy, and it had to be “tired out” before subdued and caught.

“Despite having eaten two large chickens, she had to be tired out before she could be captured,” he said.

When asked where the snake could have come from, the “snake man” said there was a game reserve and farms in the area which offer the perfect habitat for snakes to flourish.

He said there was no need to press panic buttons after the discovery of the huge python.

“There isn’t a snake invasion of some kind and the area is safe. I believe the snake happened to be in proximity where she could smell the livestock on the farm, and popped in for a little snack,” he said.

 Venter said the snake was caught and taken to a veterinarian in the area before being released into its natural habitat.

3 months ago       01 March 2018