This beautiful non venomous snake is found in northern Namibia and southern Angola. It is fairly rare and up until about 10 years ago, its biggest threat was illegal capture and selling to the public. She has a beautifully patterned skin and is much smaller that her relative – the African Rock Python which can grow up to 6 meters. She is usually just over a meter so there was increasing demand for use as a pet. Within the decade the breeding overseas has been very successful but the demand is still great from the breeders who are looking for new blood lines. Smuggling has become harder internationally with the upgrades in airport security, but regional smuggling is still fairly easy on private light aircraft.
We hope to find a student who is willing to do research on this species and fit some snakes with small transmitters to measure everything from movement to body temperature.
Photo: Swakopmund snake park