Female anaconda's West Midlands Safari Park 'virgin birth'
The arrival of three baby anacondas at West Midlands Safari Park is being heralded as a "miraculous virgin birth" by staff.
Reptile handlers at the park believe they are the first snakes of their kind ever to be born in captivity, without any help from a male.
The scientific name for the births is parthenogenesis, which is literally Greek for "virgin birth".
Mark O'Shea, consultant curator of reptiles, said it had initially come as a "shock".
"Not everything is known, that is the beauty of science," he said. "We are still discovering things that surprise and amaze us."