Burmese Python (Python bivittatus), hunting in a fish pond up near the Chinese border at Lok Ma Chau. Oh, bother, did I say border? I got into trouble for that the other day, and was told to use boundary. "Border" is most commonly used as the line that separates two countries. "Boundary" mostly commonly refers to a line that contains something. Like Hong Kong. Go figure. (edit: how did this become a political commentary when you were talking about pythons?)
oooooook, back to pythons...here is one swimming...look at those dry grasses giving a lovely contrast to his colour.
These lovely giants of the forests are still quite rare and difficult to spot in the wild, but are more frequently seen now even in urban areas. There are plenty of myths about this wonderful creatures…and “media” tend to blow up stories for scare and click bait factors. Yes, they will eat a tasty cat (another reason to keep your cat indoors, besides its threat to local wildlife). No-one has been killed by a Burmese python (our only python in Hong Kong), and there are very few recorded cases of bites over many years - and none were serious.
Here a couple of juveniles.
But…..They do get big….These snakes are Hong Kong's longest and also heaviest snakes. Most are around 2-3 meters and they max out here - records show - at around 4m (although they have been recorded up to 8m in other countries). They can also attain a weight of a hefty 15-40kg.
This one was about 3m
some more information provided by our sister site: www.hongkongsnakeid.com. Please go there to see more pictures and details.
DESCRIPTION Hong Kong's largest species of snake, the Burmese Python is a relatively easy snake to identify given its distinct coloration and pattern as well as its size. Burmese are also common in the pet trade and so may have been observed outside of the wild by even the least nature-inclined individuals. Clearly discernible brown spots or patches run the length of the body with tan to greenish yellow coloration in-between the spots. The head is arrow shaped with two tan stripes running on either side of the top. Juveniles are similar in colour and pattern to adults and relatively easy to identify.
BEHAVIOR Mostly out during the day the Burmese Python is largely terrestrial though has been observed as juveniles climbing trees in search of food, to rest or roost. Generally slow moving due to their size, Burmese are not difficult to approach. HABITAT Wide spread around Hong Kong the Burmese prefers well grown in grass land, covered forest and mangrove as its preferred habitat. They generally avoid over developed locations but have been seen in public spaces around Sai Kung and the New Territories.
This one has a very dark colouration.
(Click on the following link for a video: https://youtu.be/s4wCIgaRTJ0)