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We are talking about, what is believed to be, the largest living snake on display in the world.
Super Snake is a seven-metre reticulated python and The National Aquarium (TNA) at Al Qana in Abu Dhabi is her new home. She will live at the Flooded Forest Zone along with more than 8,000 fascinating rainforest creatures.
Native to South and Southeast Asia, the reticulated python is the world’s longest snake. They can grow to be over five metres long in the wild, with the largest ever recorded at 10 metres.
Although this species is non-venomous, they kill prey by wrapping themselves around them and constricting tighter as the victim exhales. Making them even scarier, pythons’ jaws are connected by very flexible ligaments, allowing them to stretch around large prey and swallow them whole.
Reticulated pythons are widely feared due to their size and ferocity and are among the few snakes that can prey on humans.
Although attacks on humans are not common, this species has been responsible for several reported human fatalities. Considering their incredible size, a full-grown reticulated python can open its jaws wide enough to swallow a small person. There have been numerous reports of people being eaten by reticulated pythons, particularly on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Super Snake is of similar size to these reported man-eaters.
The UAE’s new Super Snake, on the other hand, was born in a Los Angeles captive breeding programme. She has grown accustomed to human contact during her 14 years as a private specimen.
Visitors will soon be able to come and meet Super Snake at TNA, marvel at her intricate patterns, and have a first look at the massive size of this miracle of nature.
Beatriz Maquieira, curator at TNA, said: “While Super Snake is a captive-bred animal, we as her caretakers still need to be vigilant and cautious around her. We can’t wait for the public to meet her and enjoy her slightly quirky personality. We are also excited about having this opportunity to educate our visitors as that is essentially why she is here.”
Paul Hamilton, general manager at TNA, added: “We are certain Super Snake is going to become one the biggest attractions at The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi. Just watching her relax in her lush, tropical inspired habitat is mesmerising. The sheer size and beauty of Super Snake is going to make her the strongest representative of our Flooded Forest collection.”
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