The Burmese python (Python bivittatus) is our largest and one of our loveliest snakes. Unfortunately, this also means that they are hunted for their skins and meat.
Here in Sai Kung, the bigger, older pythons are not so arboreal (tree climbing), but younger juveniles climb with ease.
Wild populations of this snake are considered to be "threatened" and are listed on Appendix II of CITES. All the giant pythons (including the Indian python, the African rock python, and the reticulated python) have historically been slaughtered to supply the world leather market, as well as for folk medicines, and captured for the pet trade. Some are also killed for food, particularly in China.
Bigger snakes love the water, and i have found a few in or around waterways in Hong Kong. Here one is submerged, but senses my approach with a flick of the tongue.
The IUCN has recently listed the Burmese python as "Vulnerable", reflecting its overall population decline. Important reasons for the decline are trade for skins and for food; habitat degradation may be a problem in some upland areas.
In Hong Kong, it is a protected species under Wild Animals Protection Ordinance Cap 170.
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