Massive snake skin found at Sussex zoo park

A Burmese python at Drusillas Park has shed his skin measuring an impressive 18 foot!

Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:58 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 12:00 pm
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Zoo Keepers were impressed to find the enormous shedded snake skin in Basil’s enclosure when completing their morning checks at the zoo in East Sussex.

Head Keeper, Sophie said: “Basil is a big snake but he is still growing! He eats around 6-7 rats a feed and is fed around every two weeks so he sheds his skin to ‘refresh’ and allow him to keep growing.

“When a snake grows, its outer skin layer called epidermis does not grow or get bigger with it. Hence, the snake sheds its epidermis periodically to allow further growth of its body. He sheds his skin around once a month but this time it was in one piece and was particularly impressive!”

Basil came to Drusillas Park in 1990 and was already a big snake when he arrived. Although Keepers don’t know his exact age, they think he is around 40-50 years old.

Sophie continued: “It wouldn’t take long for Basil to shed his entire skin – probably only around a few hours.”

“He would have spent a few days before building up to shed. His eyes would have gone cloudy and he would have been a bit bad tempered as he would be feeling vulnerable due to poor vision. Physically his skin would have felt rougher too.”

Basil can be seen in his enclosure at the beginning of the zoo route at Drusillas Park. Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk

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