Health check for Britain's biggest snake at Chester Zoo
Wednesday 05 September 2012
At a whopping 23ft long, Bali the python is no ordinary patient for the vets at Chester Zoo.
The gigantic snake had to be carried by no less than seven keepers as she underwent her annual health check today.
The reticulated python weighs in at about 90kg and is thought to be the biggest snake in Britain.
As well as checks on her general health, she also met two cardio experts - Rob Shave and Eric Stohr from Cardiff Metropolitan University - who took the opportunity to perform an ultrasound scans on her heart.
Bali had her eyes covered throughout the process to keep her calm as she was checked over.
Reticulated pythons are the longest species of snake in the world.
They mainly feed on rodents, small mammals and birds while larger specimens have been known to eat small primates and pigs.
They have sharp teeth which they use to hold their prey before crushing and suffocating them with their body.
Female reticulated pythons are capable of laying between 60 and 100 eggs at a time, which take between 70 and 90 days to hatch.
A Chester Zoo spokesman said: "They are native to southeast Asia, a region in which Chester Zoo is involved in several key conservation projects looking to save animal and plant species from extinction."
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