Habitat: Bush, scrubland
Food in wild: Birds, mammals including wallabies, lizards
snake is nocturnal, but can often be seen basking in the early morning
sun(supposing we ever see the sun!)
original Carpet pythons were acquired as captive-bred babies
from Perth Zoo in Western Australia. The Director of Perth Zoo at
the time was Dr Tom Spence, a Scot, originally from Fife, who seemed
to retain a soft spot for our Zoo, and was always very kind to us.
any livestock from Australia is usually a fairly complicated business.
Before our four little carpet pythons could be dispatched to us,
we were inspected by the Australian High Commission in London who
flew somebody up to Glasgow specially. We must have passed, despite
my plying this very sophisticated gentleman with offers of a
Fosters lager , at lunch, which makes me cringe to this day,
just thinking about it, because we received an export permit soon
had lots of problems with getting the early Carpets to feed, especially
the diminutive males, and we lost one or two. Fifteen years later,
we have bred them many times, and have snakes now in the second
and third generations, captive-bred.
name Carpet python refers to the oriental carpet
effect. Ours are a typical beigy-green, criss-crossed with dark
markings. Whilst we used one or two of the younger snakes for
meet the snake sessions, most of the adults are now around
1.5 metres in length, and breeding, so we have discontinued using
these for that activity.
the wild, the geographic range is focussed on Australia and New
Guinea (West Indian and Papua). It is absent from Western and extreme
Carpet Python is regarded as a sub-species of the Diamond
Python , and the two forms integrate in some areas, but not
the 1990s in the U.K. they became a popular snake with herpetologists
and were regularly offered for sale by dealers.
have bred them many times, sometimes achieving three or four clutches,
of up to 40 eggs in a season.
takes place in January, and clutches of eggs hidden if possible
under a sheet of bark, or woodchips, are laid in March. They hatch
after 40 days at 83. The pencil-sized young, are extremely difficult
and time consuming to get to feed, and to prevent from regurgitating
large display cage 2 metres by 3 metres by 1.4 metres in height
maintains a breeding quartet of adults, with other adults and juveniles
kept off-exhibit . The glass-fronted, brick cage contains
branches, a cemented rock pile , wood chips, gravel and a water
bowl. Strip-lights above the window run the full width of the cage,
with localised heat-lamps elsewhere.
1986, a teenager stole a Carpet Python from a smaller enclosure
in the central area of the Tropical House, whose door could be forced.
Assuming he wasn't very sophisticated in herptile terms, we kept
quiet thinking such a snake might surface again quite soon. A month
later, we were asked for husbandry details of this type of snake.
After paying a reward/ransom of £30, we got our snake back! Since
then we have increased security measures significantly.