Earlier this week a male reticulated python (Python reticulatus) was brought to the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Hospital. Some local people found him under their bed, and after successfully putting him in a bag, came directly to WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre.
The reticulated pythons are native to Southeast Asia. They are among the largest snakes in the world, and can reach a whopping 10m in length. Threats to this species in the wild include habitat loss, capture for the pet trade, and most prominently in recent years, being hunted for their beautiful skin. Both Southeast Asian residents, the reticulated python and the Burmese python, two of the world’s largest snakes, have been hunted for almost a century to be used in the fashion industry. Annually almost 500,000 specimens, wild or bred in captivity, 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).
Reticulated pythons usually live in woodlands, rain forests, and near grasslands, but also near rivers, streams, and lakes. Their diet consists of mammals and birds. This is probably the reason why our ‘little’ friend came near the house, but this species is not dangerous to humans.
Our Vet team did a health check: the python was is in good health, but since he was very active, we made the decision to release him back into the wild. He has been taken to a secret protected location far from humankind, where he can once again slither through the forest.