Meet ‘Nagini’ the reticulated python (Python reticulatus) that was brought into the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre yesterday afternoon. She had been rescued by a kind concerned local who had stopped his neighbour from killing her after she had ‘stolen’ some of his livestock. The WFFT Vet Team open the bag she had been brought in and were all shocked at her size. We estimate that she is around 5 years old. She measures in at 3.6m and weighed 15kg. After placing her into a recovery cage Nagini started to regurgitate the livestock she had eaten, at this point we did not know what was going to come out of her, 30 seconds later there were 4 whole adult domestic guineafowl that she had eaten a few hours earlier.
The reticulated python is the longest of all snakes, they can reach a whopping 10m in length. Threats to this species in the wild include habitat loss, collection for the pet trade, and most prominently in recent years, the hunting for their beautiful skin. Both Southeast Asian residents, the Reticulated python and the Burmese python, two of the worlds largest serpents, have been harvested from the wild for almost a century for use in the fashion industry. Annually almost 500,000 specimens, wild or captive bred are legally exported from Southeast Asia to western countries to be used in high-end fashion items such as shoes and handbags. Inhumane ways of slaughtering these poor snakes include, filling their bodies with air using an air compressor (Vietnam), drowning (Thailand), and decapitation (China).
Luckily, Nagini was saved by a kind man and not killed as a ‘pest’ in a revenge killing for eating the farmers’ livestock. Nagini is in good health and is very active, so we have made the decision to release her back to the wild this evening. She will be taken to a secret protected location far from humankind, where she can once again slither through the forest. Updates will follow.