UK

Princes William and Harry face to face with snake

  • 15 June 2010
  • From the section UK

Princes William and Harry came face to face with an 8ft-long African rock python on their southern Africa tour.

The encounter came at the Mokolodi Nature Reserve near the capital of Botswana, Gaborone.

Prince Harry initially backed away, saying "whoa, whoa, whoa", as the reptile was draped across their necks - leaving them looking slightly nervous.

It then used a defence mechanisms and tried to urinate on William, much to the princes' amusement.

A member of staff told the princes that the snake suffocated its prey with its body but it would not be able to eat something as large as an adult human.

Naming honour

At one point Harry held the head of the two-year-old animal towards his brother, who said "don't put it in my face" and pulled away in mock horror.

The princes were each asked to choose which of two baby snakes would be named in their honour.

Later, William and Harry were taken to see two cheetah brothers named Duma and Letlotse who were raised on the reserve after their mother was shot dead 14 years ago.

William is a patron of UK-based conservation charity Tusk Trust which supports the reserve's education centre.

The six-day tour, which will include visits to Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa, visiting charities they support in the region, is the princes' first joint overseas royal trip.

They will watch England's World Cup match against Algeria in South Africa on Friday, and Football Association president Prince William will promote England's bid to host the tournament in 2018.

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