Tuesday, 1 January 2008

'Royal' resident is settling in at Tropiquaria

A ‘royal’ guest has taken residence at West Somerset animal centre Tropiquaria.
Elfin, a royal python snake, was given to the centre’s collection shortly before Christmas and has now settled in and is being handled regularly in public.
The arrival of Elfin is part of a long-term aim by Tropiquaria’s new owners to specialise in African wildlife and to develop a collection themed on the sub-Saharan part of the continent.
Tropiquaria managing director Chris Moiser said: “Although this is a common African species, this individual is one of the most beautiful snakes that I have ever seen.
“They are occasionally found in this country as pets, but I have never seen such a well-marked specimen before, either in captivity or in the wild.”
Royal pythons are found across the whole of sub-Saharan African, from Senegal to Kenya.
The ‘royal’ part of the name comes from an alleged involvement with the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, who was said to sometimes wear a live one.
Tropiquaria is currently open daily from 11 am to 4 pm until January 6th and then at weekends until February 9, which is the start of the school half-term holiday, when daily opening resumes until Sunday, February 24.
On the days when the Washford tourist attraction is closed, the centre is still available for exclusive group bookings.
  • Our photograph shows Elfin the African royal python with Tropiquaria reptile keeper Rebecca Welsh. Photo submitted.

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