21 October 2016

Guess who’s confused by Hong Kong’s tricky winter weather?

Hong Kong has had plunging temperatures but winter has not quite arrived yet.

That can only mean one thing — some animals are being kept from hibernating.

In fact, snakes are being confused by the tricky winter weather, drawing them out into the open.

One such reptile, a large Burmese python, was found near a drainage ditch in Crown Villas in Ching Sau Lane in Stanley district.

A snake catcher was called in to deal with the intruder, Commercial Radio Hong Kong reports.

The 20-foot python was quickly caught and bagged but that didn’t stop residents from thinking what might turn up next on their doorstep.

Previous python sightings were reported in Sai Kung in May and June.

Both times, the snakes were engorged with undigested prey.

But it was summer, and just when Hong Kong people are beginning to think less about them with the arrival of winter, the slitherers remain unsettled.

A snake expert said the weather is not cold enough to lure them into hibernation, a state of inactivity that slows down metabolism and saves them having to forage for food and allows them to sit out the winter.  

Burmese pythons, the largest subspecies of the non-venomous Indian snake, can grow up to 22 meters.

At that size, they need to shut down for the winter more than many other animals, experts said.  

Nine-foot-long python caught in Sai Kung after cat dinner (Jun. 26, 2015)

Goat dinner lands python in trouble in Sai Kung (May 12, 2015)

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