Zoo hatches slithering Easter surprise

STEPHEN PULLINGER It's traditionally the time for fluffy chicks to emerge but a Norfolk zoo is hatching a real Easter surprise - a clutch of Indonesian pythons.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

It's traditionally the time for fluffy chicks to emerge but a Norfolk zoo is hatching a real Easter surprise - a clutch of Indonesian pythons.

Staff at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens were astonished when the first baby short python emerged because they had not realised that the mother had been tightly curled round 12 eggs. Ken Sims, director of the zoo at Thrigby, near Yarmouth, said: "The mother python stays with the eggs and assists with the incubation by wrapping herself round them and twitching to raise her body temperature.

"She had secreted the eggs in deep litter in the enclosure."

Incubation of the eggs lasts between 60 days and three months and three of the pythons have hatched so far.

Mr Sims added: "It has come as even more of a surprise because we believed the parents, who were donated to us, were both males."

Most Read

More than 150 EDP readers entered a competition to name two Amur leopard cubs at the zoo. The winners were Don Sinclair, of West End, Briston, near Melton Constable, who suggested Czarina for the female cub and Miss E West, of Unthank Road, Norwich, who chose Coco for the male cub.

Each receives the prize of a family ticket.