The largest Burmese Python on record in Hong Kong was released back into the wild earlier this week. The python — measuring 4.89 metres long and weighing 32 kilos — was taken to the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) after it was captured on August 26, and released back into Sai Kung on the same day.
The female python is the longest that KFBG has received since it began its Burmese Python Conservation Project with the Agricultural and Fisheries Department in January 2011. In a Facebook post, the rescue centre said that the record for the longest python in the SAR was previously held by a snake from the same district that was brought there in July 2020.
The centre also noted that the snake had “notable loose skin, suggesting she had lost weight recently”, prompting experts there to suggest that she may have laid a clutch of eggs prior to her capture. After collecting data and inserting a micro-chip in the snake, the KFBG snake rescue team returned her to the wild in the same district on the same day she was received, but well away from the point of capture.
The Burmese Python is a protected native species in Hong Kong and is an important part of the SAR’s ecosystem, as it is the city’s largest surviving top predator. “Despite the intimidating size, these magnificent snakes have managed to live alongside the Hong Kong public with very little incident and are responsible for contributing to the natural regulation of rodents and wild boar numbers,” said the centre.
The centre also mentioned that residents who are concerned about the safety of their pets should supervise or control them at all times if they live near wild areas or enter them for recreation.
Header image credits: Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden via Facebook