Giant reticulated python gets her annual health check

JF gets a health check

At some point, whether we like it or not, we all have to take a trip to the doctor. Now imagine if there were TEN of them once you got there!

Well that's exactly what giant reticulated python, JF, faced at Chester Zoo earlier today.

The 23ft / 7m long snake was undergoing her annual health check, which was done by a team of zookeepers and vets.

JF is thought to be one of the biggest snakes in Europe, weighing in at around 60kg, that's nearly 10 stone!

  • Reticulated pythons are the world's longest species of snake
  • At Chester Zoo the pythons are fed every six to eight weeks - a diet of whole turkeys, chickens or rabbits
  • Female reticulated pythons are capable of laying between 60 and 100 eggs at a time, which take between 70-90 days to hatch

In addition to a general health check, JF had an ultrasound scan to check her heart. The zoo's pythons are taking part in a study as part of a joint research programme between Chester Zoo and Cardiff Metropolitan university. It is hoped that looking at JF will also help people studying the human heart.

Steve Unwin, from Chester Zoo's vet team, said:

"We're pleased that we've been able to get some nice, clear ultrasound images of JF's heart and it's helped us to see that she's healthy on the inside, as well as on the outside."

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