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Snake heart: Giant python gets a health check

22 July 2014 Last updated at 18:13 BST

A team at Chester Zoo gave an enormous reticulated python its annual check-up on Tuesday - including using ultrasound to scan its heart.

Reticulated pythons are the longest snake species in the world; it takes a team of 8 handlers just to hold the snake so it can be examined.

The huge reptile, named JF, is thought to be one of the biggest snakes in Europe - at 7m (23 feet) long, and weighing approximately 60kgs.

As well as ensuring the snake is healthy, the check-up was part of a cardiological study.

This is a joint research programme between the zoo and Cardiff Metropolitan University; it is hoped that looking at JF will also provide insight for people studying the human heart.