Viper's light-absorbing black scales are a wonder of nature's nanotechnology

The Gaboon viper's skin absorbs light. Photo: Shutter Stock

The West African Gaboon viper, one of the largest in Africa and a master of camouflage, has dark spots in the pattern of its skin that are deep, velvety black and reflect very little light.

Sunday, 19 May, 2013, 1:38am

Zhejiang 'Snake Village' seeks New Year boom

A snake farmer checks the snakes being air-dried in Zisiqiao village, Zhejiang Province. Photo: AP

In the 1980s, villagers began raising snakes for food and traditional Chinese medicine, transforming the Zhejiang village economically.

10 Feb 2013 - 12:50pm

City Digest, December 8, 2012

Raid nets snakes but six smugglers escape

Police seized 125 boxes of protected snakes - cobras and common rat snakes - and pangolin scales and confiscated two delivery vans in a raid on the waterfront at Pak Mong on Lantau Island at about 12.30am yesterday. Police said the haul was worth about HK$780,000. Six smugglers escaped on a speedboat or on foot. No one was arrested.

8 Dec 2012 - 4:10am

Florida offers cash prizes to catch invasive Burmese pythons

A Florida python hunter handles one of his pet snakes. Photo: EPA

The battle to control Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades has involved an array of tactics, including snake-sniffing dogs, GPS-equipped snakes and teams of state-licensed and trained reptile wranglers.

Now, Florida wildlife managers have a new approach: a snake-hunting contest offering cash prizes.

7 Dec 2012 - 5:46am

Road Test: Jurassic Garage

Where children and reptiles meet. Photo: Pearl Law

Part of the wonder of being a parent is doing things you wouldn't normally do. For example, having a snake cuddle into the crook of my neck or cooing over a spider - which is what I was doing with my toddler on a Sunday afternoon at an industrial building in Chai Wan.

21 Oct 2012 - 11:31am

Microchips help track released reptiles

Releasing pythons into the Hong Kong countryside after tagging them with microchips could provide crucial information about the habits and movements of the endangered species.

Surprisingly little is known about the behaviour of Burmese pythons in the wild and it is not known how territorial they are or whether they return to their old hunting grounds when they are moved.

22 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Walker thwarts cobra smugglers

A Lantau Island resident walking her dogs at night discovered by chance nearly 800 live venomous Chinese cobras in plastic boxes by the sea.

Okka Scherer was exercising her dogs on Pui O beach, when they discovered the 789 snakes inside a stack of 181 plastic containers.

21 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Woman stumbles on 800 snakes

Lantau resident Okka Scherer's nightly walk along the beach with her dogs took a venomous turn when she stumbled across almost 800 Chinese cobras.

When she unearthed the hoard, hidden in bushes behind Pui O beach at about 9pm last Sunday, she realised she had probably busted a huge snake smuggling operation.

19 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Naturalist's menagerie helps dispel myths and fears

Lithe and graceful, Blondie glides effortlessly across the back seat of Goatee Toni's Land Rover Discovery. She's just finished a fashion photo shoot with Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy, the tattooed Montreal native who appeared in Lady Gaga's Born This Way video.

4 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Snakes alive: research is vital to keep your scaly friend happy and healthy

Fung Wai-yuk remembers standing outside her Lantau house when she was five and hearing her aunt scream. She looked down and noticed a green bamboo snake was trying to crawl up her leg. Within seconds, Fung's father appeared and grabbed the venomous reptile before any harm was done.

24 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Snakes and bladders

Mak Tai-kwong deftly takes a snake from one of the many drawers of a large brown cupboard labelled with the warning, 'poisonous snake' in Chinese characters. He cuts into the reptile's abdomen then squeezes out a little black organ - its gall bladder.

9 Dec 2010 - 12:00am

On the Rails

Where was Samuel L. Jackson when we needed him on Saturday? And why did turnovernoia strike at Sha Tin?

The Jockey Club's version of Steve Irwin (sans stingray) managed to catch a python, which was doubtless minding its own business, perhaps catching a few rays of sun, near the tying up stalls on the members' car park side of the racecourse.

22 Sep 2010 - 12:00am

Heritage finds a voice in art

The arts have become a popular channel to drum up awareness of the city's heritage and culture. Wing Lee Street in Central, which is the setting for Echoes of the Rainbow, drew unexpected global and local recognition for 'old Hong Kong' after the local film won the Crystal Bear award at the Berlinale 2010 festival.

10 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Marathon man shares his experiences in motivational book

After completing some of the world's most gruelling ultra-marathons, Derek Kwik Kwok-tsan has met a new challenge: putting his inspirational achievements into a motivational book. Launched on Thursday at the Glaceau Vitaminwater pop-up shop on Staunton Street, the ultra-athlete and venture capitalist's tome is called Kwik Fix.

26 Oct 2009 - 12:00am

Shia Wong Hip

Fare Cantonese, offering dishes of exotic animals such as snake, hard-shelled turtle, wattle-necked soft-shelled turtle, crocodile and gecko.

15 Oct 2009 - 12:00am