Meet Cuddles and Snuggles
Cuddles and Snuggles are our two burmese pythons. These guys are in the list of top five largest snake species in the world, with the reticulated python sitting at number one. They reach sexual maturity at four years, but can live well into their twenties. Adult burmese pythons usually average about 12ft long, but have the ability to reach up to 18ft long and up to 200lbs! These non-venomous constrictors are recognized by their pattern of dark brown and tan splotches along the body and horizontal stripes across each eye. They are solitary animals that will only come together to mate in the winter, which is why you will never see Snuggles hanging out with his brother, Cuddles. Our boys eat guinea pigs just as most burmese pythons will other small mammals and birds, but have been known to tackle an alligator now and again because they are also stealthy swimmers!
Burmese pythons have been popular in the pet industry because of their docile disposition, but most often end up being illegally released into the wild due to their difficult upkeep and massive size. This led to them becoming an invasive species to the Florida Everglades and quickly expanding into other states, killing many of our native animal species. Although they have been detrimental to native species populations, they are considered vulnerable in their native habitats in southeast Asia due to the pet trade, habitat loss, and overharvesting for their meat and leather.
As you’ll notice, Snuggles is a lot paler than his brother due to albinism. Albinism is caused by a genetic mutation in which the body produces less melanin, a pigment in the skin that makes it appear darker and may be helpful in protecting against UV rays. In snakes, it is more common to have partial amelanism rather than absolute albinism. In patterned snakes, these patterns usually appear as blue, peach, or yellow with red/pink eyes. Snakes with partial amelanism still produce pigment, but that pigment does not show up all over the body, so sometimes there will be areas of the body with pale, white patches. In Snuggles’s case, absolute albinism causes his entire body to be pale along with those pale red/pink eyes.
Burmese pythons are considered to be primitive snakes because they have two sets of functioning lungs and vestigial (left-over) hind limbs that are visible on either side of their cloaca!
Common Name Burmese Python
Scientific Name Python bivitattus
Life Span 20 - 25 Years