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El Paso Zoo Python visits Newschannel 9's studios


POSTED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 7:32pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 7:35pm

A special guest paid a visit to the Newschannel 9 studios Thursday evening: A Royal/Ball Python.
Here's what we learned about the reptile:

Status: Declining due to hunting/pet trade

Distribution: Equatorial West Africa

Habitat: Forests and Savannah regions

Diet: Wild: amphibians, lizards, other snakes, birds and small mammals Zoo: mice

Length: 3 to 5 feet

Weight: 5 to 15 pounds

Reproduction: The female ball python lays a clutch of 6 to 9 eggs. She wraps herself around them, guarding them without even leaving to eat for the three months before they hatch. The young reach maturity at 3 to 5 years of age.

Longevity: Up to 50 years, though 20 to 30 years is typical

General Description: A thick-bodied python with dark brown, white and light brown blotches over its body. It has a diamond-shaped head.

Behavior: When frightened, this snake coils itself into a ball and hides its head in the center of its coils. This snake is non-venomous, using constriction to kill its prey.

Did you know? These snakes can go for over a year without eating, though this is not healthy. Even though they constrict their prey, they seldom break any of its bones.

Where can you find them? In pet stores, in zoos and in the wild

We also learned details about the El Paso Zoo's annual "Boo at the Zoo" event. Kids are encouraged to visit the zoo October 26th and 27th from 10 a.m. until 4p.m. For games, trick or treating, and more fun. Costumes are encouraged. Click the link below for more information:

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