On July 14th, 2008 the Wildlife Sanctuary staff received a call from the Wildlife Control Services of West Hartford because one of their officers had just caught a large constrictor that had been found in a home in New Britain. The occupants of the house did not own the snake and were quite alarmed when they discovered the 9 foot , 30 pound burmese python in their home. He is aptly named Stanley because the residence he was found in was located on Stanley Street in New Britain.
Although burmese pythons are an invasive species in the Everglades due to accidental introduction, Stanley did not slither his way up from Florida into this New Britain home. Unfortunately, there is a large market for exotic pets and many people purchase these animals when they are small and easily handled. They fail to take into account how large the animal will get or how long it will live. The likely case is that someone purchased Stanley when he was small and as he got bigger they realized that having a burmese python as a pet is not such a great idea. Since it is illegal to have a burmese python as a pet without proper licensing provided from the state, when someone doesn’t want one as a pet anymore they do not have a lot of options. If they cannot find it a home with someone they know usually their next option is releasing it into the wild, even if it is not the right habitat. This is detrimental to both the animal itself and ecosystem in which it is released.
Stanley’s story of his arrival at The Children’s Museum was reported in The Hartford Current, which you can see below.
10 Fun Facts about Burmese Pythons
- The can reach lengths of over 20 feet and weigh almost 200 pounds.
- In their native range of Southeast Asia they are listed as a Threatened species, whereas in Florida, where they can also be found, they are listed as an Invasive specie because they are not native, but rather introduced into the ecosystem.
- Females can lay a clutch size ranging from 12 to 36 eggs.
- After laying their eggs, female burmese pythons will encompass the eggs in her coils and stay with them until they hatch. Once hatched the babies are on their own.
- Burmese Pythons are hunted and killed for their use in folk medicine, as well as their skin to be used in the fashion industry.
- They are part of the family Pythonidae, which is comprised of some of the biggest snakes in the world.
- At the base of their tail they have vestigial spurs, which look like small “toe-nails.” See the photo below.
- Typically males have longer spurs and a longer tail.
- Their mouth is comprised of over 100 recurved teeth for latching onto their prey, which can be seen in the photo below.
- When they are young, burmese pythons are arboreal and spend a good amount of time in trees.