Coastal Carpet Python surprise

Pam called WIRES for advice when she found her resident Coastal Carpet Python snake lying half in and half out of the pool in the sun, it was looking unwell, it had not moved for over 24 hours and birds were hovering nearby.
This python was well known to Pam as it had been around for years.
WIRES volunteer Eddy responded to the call and noticed a small skin deep wound – possibly the reason the python was taking a bath in the pool.
The python was treated at Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital for minor skin abrasions and would require a course of antibiotics. The python was taken into care by Wires volunteer snake handler Mat.
Mat hoped to see the python shed her skin to be certain she was in top condition before being released back to Pam’s property.
Now 5 weeks later Mat was getting the python ready for release, but when he opened the enclosure he found she had laid a small clutch of eggs.
 
Unlike other snake species, Carpet Python females will care for her eggs, and defend her clutch violently. She coils herself around her eggs, and shivers to keep the eggs at a stable temperature. Between 50 and 60 days after producing her clutch, the babies hatch. At this point, the maternal duties of the mother are complete.
 
This beautiful mum will be allowed to rest on her clutch for the next couple of months until they are ready to hatch. Young snakes are precocious and will fend for themselves from the time they emerge from the egg.
We hope to release mum and her 10-20 healthy young rodent catchers early next year.
Thank you Pam for calling WIRES, your environmentally friendly pest control will be back on duty in 2022.
Picture by Mat Dorsey

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