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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 00:47 GMT
Rare snakes hatched at zoo
Savu python
Numbers of Savu Pythons have dropped dramatically in the wild
Nine Indonesian pythons have hatched at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

The rare Savu pythons - the first to be bred in a European zoo - were born following a breeding programme by the zoo's reptile experts.

The creature was unknown to the scientific community in the western world until 1993.

Since their discovery, numbers in the wild have dropped dramatically as a result of the pet trade.

The Savu python is naturally found on one 100-square kilometre island in Indonesia, from which it takes its name.

The hatchlings measure 30cms in length and weigh approximately 20 grams, but will eventually grow to one metre in length.

Tim Skelton, of Bristol Zoo, said: "Nine pythons have hatched and are growing rapidly. Once mature, the snakes will be transferred to other zoos across Europe to expand the conservation breeding programme."




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