1. How do you give a health check to a 7-metre-long reticulated python (the largest snake breed in the world)? With great difficulty.
Staff at Chester Zoo had to work together in a team of eight to handle the snake, named JF, as she had her annual health-check this week, including an ultrasound.
2. JF really is a very long reptile.
3. She weighs about 60kg and could well be the longest in Europe.
4. Academics from Cardiff Metropolitan University carried out the ultrasound as part of an ongoing animal cardiology study.
Pythons’ hearts have three chambers, unlike human ones, which have four.
5. She had to be put in a tube to keep her still.
JF is only fed every six to eight weeks and her diet consists of whole turkeys, chickens or rabbits. Pythons have sharp teeth which they use before crushing and suffocating their prey. Which is nice.
6. Other animals dropped in to see what all the fuss was about.
7. In the end, JF seemed to handle the whole thing very well.
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