Python sebae is a non-venomous python species found in sub-Saharan Africa.
With adults reaching lengths of over 6 m (20 ft), this is one of the world’s largest species of snakes. The typical adult length is 4.8 m (16 ft) and rumours of specimens over 6 m (20 ft) are generally considered reliable, but larger specimens have never been confirmed.
Albert and I were fortune to bump into this 3,2 meter Python. It took some time to secure this large specimen, which turned out to be a male. After teaching Albert how to handle non-venomous snakes he clear shows his joy of holding this beautiful and rare snake for his guests to view.
The colour pattern is typically brown, with olive and tan irregular blotching, fading to white on the underside. Typically associated with grassland and savannah habitat, not too far from water (rivers, streams, marshes), sometimes entering the edges of forests. Often occur in or near cane fields.
Opportunistic feeders, and will consume almost any animal they come across and can overpower by constriction. Young pythons eat primarily small rodents, which makes them popular with local farmers for reducing the populations of species harmful to crops, like the cane rat. However, adults are capable of taking very large prey, including young crocodiles, goats, gazelles, warthogs and even humans making them potentially very dangerous.
Attacks on humans are very uncommon. Although this species can easily kill an adult, there are only a few cases in which the victim. The last known case in which a person was eaten occurred in South Africa in 2002, the victim being a 10-year-old child.
While considered endangered and threatened, this species is listed as a CITES Appendix II species, which puts restrictions on its exportation around the world. The primary reason for this is because their skin is used in the leather industry, frequently being made into shoes, belts, and purses.
By Patrick O‘Brien – Head Guide