Snake catcher's warning over pythons protecting their eggs

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Melissa Buttigieg
Yahoo7 News13 December 2018


Australians have been warned to be on the lookout for curled-up snakes incubating their eggs.

Snake Catchers Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan & Gold Coast shared a photo of a mother carpet python holding up work on a building site in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia earlier this week.

They were called in to remove her and her eggs.
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Snake catchers have warned now was the time of year where mother snakes are more frequently found curled up and incubating their eggs. Source: The Snake Catcher 24/7 – Sunshine Coast / Facebook


The reptile was relocated while her eggs were safely incubated in care, the snake catchers reported on Facebook on Thursday.

Female carpet pythons will incubate their eggs for about two months.

“During this time, she won’t eat and will only ever move off the eggs to bask in the sun close by and return the heat to the eggs. As you can imagine, due to this dedication, they end up looking quite emaciated towards the end of the incubation period,” the snake experts said.
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A mother carpet python was holding up work on a building site in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia earlier this week. Source: Snake Catchers Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan & Gold Coast / Facebook


“Once the young begin to hatch and disperse, there is no further parental care.”

Stuart McKenzie, owner of The Snake Catcher 24/7 – Sunshine Coast, said it was common for catchers to release mother snakes into the wild while her eggs were taken for incubation.

He usually takes the eggs he finds to Australia Zoo to be looked after.

“When the mother is caught and released she won’t take the eggs back and rather disappears into the bush,” Mr McKenzie said.

“I have relocated a mother on eggs and been able to put her and the eggs back into the bush together and she stays on them only a couple of times.”
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The eggs were taken for incubation while the mother python was released into the wild. Source: Snake Catchers Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan & Gold Coast / Facebook


Where do pythons like to lay their eggs?
Backyards with piles of grass clippings are attractive sites for egg deposition and incubation, Snake Catchers Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan & Gold Coast warned.

“Avoid letting a pile of grass clippings accumulate into a very attractive mound for snakes to see as a suitable site for their eggs,” the snake catchers said.

They also said rock retaining walls provided suitable refuge for snakes at any time of the year, but they were also attractive sites for egg incubation due to the microclimate enabling snakes to maintain ideal body temperatures.

“Simple shelter sites provided by various natural and artificial debris should also be considered as potential sites when tidying up the yard,” the catcher warned.
 
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