These photos are not photoshopped....

Christmas Present………….

The follow photos were taken by Mark White whom was very fortunate to be with us on Christmas day and these are some of his photos that he has taken on drive that morning.
Look again it is true!!!! Leopards caught a Rock Python.
The leopards stumbled upon the snake and first were a bit weary what to do. Karula did know what to do but wasn’t in a hurry. They did try to bite it on the head but wasn’t enough. Out of now where appears a hyena. She made her way straight to the leopards and tried to get to their food. Luangwa didn’t want anything to do with that and ran up a tree. The photos will explain the rest.

Luangwa & Kafue playing with the python Luangwa a bit weary Karula trying to kill it Karula Luangwa spotted the Hyeana Luangwa Luangwa Luangwa & Kafue Kafue or Luangwa Karula staring at them up the tree

The Genus that consists of nine species has some of the longest snakes measuring up to 10.5 meters. They are not as big in diameter as the Boas that have an exceeding girth and measure up to 9 meters in length. Some fossil records are however more impressive measuring up to 15 meters in length. They are usually light brown to grey brown with transverse blotches and dark bands alongside the body. The ventral side is white and spotted with black - brown color. The adult’s measure up to 3 to 4 meters and a record of 6 meters has been measured. Pythons have no venom but use their body to strangle and suffocate there pray, they as not as fast moving on the ground as they are in water and usually ambush there pray. Human's destroying their habitat and killing them for their skin has placed the species under great threat and they are know protected by Nature Conservation laws.

They prefer a more open savanna type habitat but have been founded in forest areas and is largely restricted to the north and north east areas of southern Africa, north Botswana and into northern Namibia and down the east coast of South Africa.

The female can lie from 30 to 50 eggs but 50 % of them may be infertile. The female guards the eggs and only leaves for short intervals which make this species rather interesting as parenting is quite a foreign concept to reptiles.

African rock pythons are highly dependent on water sources, and estivate during the hottest and driest parts of the year, remaining deep in burrows made by other animals. They are opportunistic predators, and will consume almost any animal they come across which they can overpower with constriction. Young pythons eat primarily small rodents, which make them popular with local farmers for reducing the populations of species harmful to crops, like the cane rat, but adults are capable of taking very large prey, including crocodiles, goats and gazelles, making them a potential danger to livestock. The African Rock Python is noted for its bad temperament, and readiness to bite if harassed. In stark contrast to the Burmese Python which is typically docile except when food is near.

Reproduction occurs in the spring, and the female can lay as many as 100 eggs at a time. She guards her nest while they incubate for 2-3 months. Hatchlings are between 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) in length, and appear virtually identical to adults, only they are more contrasting in color.

The female can lay from 30 to 50 eggs but 50 % of them may be infertile. The female guards the eggs and only leaves for short intervals which make this species rather interesting as parenting is quite a foreign concept to reptiles.

Did you know?
• African Rock Pythons are commonly captive bred and are readily available in the exotic pet trade. They adapt well to captivity, feeding readily on commercially available rat and rabbits. Their duller coloration and poor temperament generally makes their price lower than that other python species, but their large size and voracious appetite makes them suitable only for the most experienced of large snake keepers.
• While not considered an endangered or threatened, the African Rock Python 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.
• There has been much confusion in the African Rock Python's taxonomic history, with many different authors redescribing it, or considering specimens from different localities to be subspecies.