The Detroit Zoo has created a new home for a 18-foot, 85-pound female reticulated python. The snake was introduced into her new space at the Holden Museum of Living Reptile following eight months of construction.
The enclosure features a variety of plants and trees to offer the python a sanctuary she would find in her natural habitat. A basking pool allows visitors to view the snake underwater.
"Pythons are exceptional swimmers, so the pool was vital to replicating a habitat synonymous with the wild," Jeff Jundt, Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Reptiles, said. "David's artistry helped to create an amazing space that meets the python's needs and is also visually engaging for visitors."
The centerpiece of the space features a large stone head deity, which was created by Zoo reptile keeper David Blanchard. The piece was fashioned after temple idols found at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The python is estimated to be 17 years old, and was rescued from a private owner in July 2010. The zoo receives over 100 requests from pet owners looking for a new home for their reptiles. Only on rare occasions the zoo is able to accept one.
The reticulated python is the longest snake in the world averaging around 22 feet and reaching up to 30 feet. It is native to the rainforests and woodlands of Southeast Asia and the Indonesian and Philippine Islands.