Animal Diaries Archive
Our Reptile Team To The Rescue
3 June 2005The night air is clear and cool. Darkness has set in and it is now when the nocturnal critters of central Queensland come alive.
Sliding out from a hollow log retreat, one of the most glamorous of the semi-arid fauna makes an appearance; the Black Headed Python.
Especially on cooler nights, reptiles love to take advantage of any warm spots they can find. As you can imagine, the best place to soak up some heat is on the bitumen road. The road really retains the heat of the day and our black-headed friend knows this all too well. The snake is too content raising its body temperature to notice a vehicle heading right his way. The driver brakes heavily but can't avoid grazing the python.
This is the story of the reptile team's latest rescue from all the way out by Alpha in Queensland. From here he was brought to the Koala and Wildlife Hospital to undertake some serious stitching! From around his nape, down a quarter of his body was a substantial open wound and he was badly dehydrated, but the one injury that really stumped us was the discovery of part of his tongue being absent...
The tongue is vital for a snake in the bush. It flicks the forked tongue out and picks up scent particles from its surrounds, retracts back into the mouth where it is presented to the Jacobson's organ. Everything around it is processed from there on, giving them an accurate indication of potential presence of predators, prey and mates. Unfortunately this means our old mate Black Head can't be released to the wild due to detrimental consequences of being a tongue-less snake.
To any drivers out there, please spare a thought if you're out on those country roads to watch for those wildlife pedestrians!
Our Amazing Black-headed Pythons
The most obvious characteristic of the Black-headed Python is its black head and neck. This species of python is a long slender snake patterned with dark bands ...more