At the Detroit Zoo
In 2011, the Detroit Zoo created a striking new home for an 18-foot female reticulated python at the Holden Reptile Conservation Center. The centerpiece of the 20-by-8-by-8 foot space is a large stone head deity – created by Detroit Zoo reptile keeper David Blanchard – fashioned after temple idols found at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The enclosure also features a variety of plants and trees to offer the python the sanctuary she would find in her native habitat as well as a basking pool that provides underwater viewing for visitors. The Zoo’s reticulated python was estimated to be 17 years old when she was rescued from a private owner in July 2010. Each year, the Detroit Zoological Society receives more than 100 requests from pet owners looking for a new home for their reptiles, and only on rare occasions is able to accept one.
It is the longest snake species in the world, averaging around 22 feet and reaching up to 30 feet. A black criss-cross pattern runs the length of the python’s gray, brown and tan body, giving it the reticulated name. The snake’s coloring contributes to its ability for camouflage to elude predators and conceal itself from potential prey.
Scientific name: Broghammerus reticulatus
Habitat: Tropical rainforests and woodlands close to rivers, lakes and ponds, sometimes near agricultural areas
Size: 15-30 feet long
Weight: Over 300 pounds
Diet: The reticulated python is a carnivore and consumes a diet of birds and various-sized mammals.
Reproduction: Lays between 25-100 eggs at a time; incubation period of 85 days
Lifespan: 11 years
Conservation Status: Not Assessed