This Is What It Looks Like When The Longest Snake In Europe Gets A Health Check

JF the reticulated python had her health check yesterday, requiring eight zookeepers to hold all 7 metres of her in place.

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.

Chester Zoo

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.

Chester Zoo

Pythons’ hearts have three chambers, unlike human ones, which have four.

5. She had to be put in a tube to keep her still.

Chester Zoo

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.

Chester Zoo.

7. In the end, JF seemed to handle the whole thing very well.

Chester Zoo

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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