At the Detroit Zoo
The southern African rock python can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the park. There, visitors can learn about the 70 different species (and approximately 180 individuals) of reptiles at the Detroit Zoo, one-fifth of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.
Africa's largest snake, the southern African rock python has a long, stout body, patterned with blotches that vary in color between brown, olive, chestnut and yellow, often joining up in a broad, irregular stripe. The triangular head has many sharp, backwardly curved teeth and is marked on top with a dark brown "spear head" outlined in yellow. Under the eye is a distinctive triangular marking.
Scientific name: Python natalensis
Habitat: Grassland, forest, semi-desert, rocky areas and the edges of swamps, lakes and rivers. It also readily adapts to disturbed habitats and so is often found around human habitation.
Size: 8 to 15 feet
Weight: 97 to 121 pounds
Diet: Large rodents, monkeys, antelopes, fruit bats, monitor lizards and even crocodiles in forest areas, as well as rats, poultry, dogs and goats in suburban areas
Reproduction: Clutch of 20 to 100 eggs, that hatch around 90 days later
Lifespan: 30 to 50 years
Conservation Status: Not assessed