40kg Burmese python donated to Chinese zoo after outgrowing owner’s home

Man raised five-metre-long albino snake from hatchling, but said he could no longer care for it

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 October, 2017, 5:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 October, 2017, 5:32pm

A Chinese man who raised a golden python from little more than a hatchling donated the now five-metre-long serpent to a zoo earlier this week after realising he could no longer care for it, local media reported.

The man, identified only by his surname Zhao, handed over his beloved pet to keepers at Chongqing Zoo on Tuesday, Chongqing Morning Daily reported the same day.

The huge snake, which took two men to carry, was identified as a rare albino Burmese python. The snakes are usually a dark brown colour, but the albino or “golden” variant has a yellowy hue.

A report by Chongqing Evening News on Thursday said the animal was probably about four years old and weighed about 40kg.

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Zhao, who lives in Chongqing, was quoted as saying that he acquired the snake “by chance” several years ago, when it was no bigger than the palm of his hand. However, “various factors” had made it difficult for him to continue looking after it.

The Burmese python is one of the world’s largest species of snake. They generally grow to about 3.7 metres in length, but the largest can surpass seven metres, zoo workers were quoted as saying.

Zhao’s former pet was given a medical examination on Tuesday evening and found to be in good health, the report said.

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People in China are not prohibited from keeping snakes, but owners of albino pythons are required to get approval from the State Forestry Administration.

A 13-year-old boy from southern China’s Guangdong province made headlines recently after it was reported that he slept beside the family’s pet golden python and even took it out for “walks”.