“Types of snakes”

In the legends of ancient China tells the story of that dragon once there was a huge sea snake or a giant boa constrictor, swollen from the sea water in the Yangtze river.

Live large Boas and Kharkov zoo. Although to see their usual Kharkiv is unlikely. For the past four years as the entrance to the terrarium of the zoo is closed — emergency building on the brink of destruction. The roof of the cage, consisting of concrete slabs started to crumble. And simple repair in this case is not enough.

Once there was an aquarium for fish the local waters, says head of the Department of amphibians and reptiles of the zoo Olga Kalinovskaya, and when in 1995 marking the centenary of the zoo, was transformed into the current terrarium. Now the zoo management plans to restore the aquarium, and over it to build the pavilion-a terrarium. It remains only to find the money to build.

Thus it happened that now to exhibit a collection of snakes for the zoo anywhere. New housing received only crocodiles, lizards and small amphibians in the premises of the recently renovated monkey house. The rest live in various closed the eyes of the visitors spaces.

In Kharkov zoo today is home to 20 snake species, only about 200 individuals creeping. All of them are tropical snakes that were bred in captivity.

Creeping the oldest inhabitant of the zoo — a female reticulated Python. She has more than 18 years. There is in the collection of the male ieroglifov Python, they were imported around the same time.

A couple of reticulated pythons now put together during the festivities. Seeing these huge reptiles (under 40 kg, 5 meters and 6 meters male female) it’s hard to imagine how this snake can be transplanted to another room.

— Drag, sometimes its course is distilled, — smiles Olga Kalinovskaya. — Reticulated pythons are considered the largest snakes in the world proven. For example, in the Tokyo zoo, lives a 13-foot reticulated Python.

All tropical species of snakes mate in winter. Because in the tropics just at this time, the rainy season, when later the pups, they will be a lot of food in the form of rodents and other Goodies.

Kharkiv pythons also every year give birth to offspring unless the female is a good weight for summer. The offspring of this year all went to other zoos.

Annually delight the zoo and tiger pythons. But Anaconda is a year, since the female of this snake pregnancy lasts 9 months. But many new snakes, zoo workers probably never know.

— Oviparous snakes do not hatch eggs, but buried deep in the ground. We put the eggs in the incubator. It happens that there is a power, and if incubation is not that the temperature jumped one degree, or changing humidity, — says Olga.

Strolling between the glass snakeskin “flats”, I understand that the character of this year, namely the Black Water Snake, it’s not hard to find. All the snakes living at the zoo, live on land, marine are only Anaconda.

— Anacondas can live on land, but in fact all the time they spend in the water, and even eat in the water, introduces me “the ropes” zoologist.

Indeed, the female and two males were placed in big basins, and only the head stuck out.

Also in Kharkiv zoo live family tiger Python-albino, they produce offspring every year. They are even bigger than giants-reticulated pythons. But albinos just seem larger. The female grew only up to 4 meters, and the male is less than 3 meters.

— A person they do not eat, but chicken, rabbit, goat or pig — well, — says Olga Kalinovskaya. — All non-venomous snakes strangle their victims. And they will never smother someone you will not be able to swallow. Snakes see the size and just waste your strength will not.

Reptiles know the zoo staff and treat them with patience. That is patiently tolerate their presence. When the snake is hungry and goes to the person who feeds them, they are beginning to crawl, by showing that we’re here, don’t forget about us. In this case, each reptile your character is quiet, and has nerve.

Favorites among these cold-blooded Olga Alexandrovna there.

20 years ago I had tiger Python vixen. It was my first snake. At first she lived at my house, and after in the zoo. But she was already dead — says zoologist.

As for venomous snakes, in Kharkov zoo live only two female Texas gramatnica, and they were divorced here 13 years ago. It is the most venomous rattlesnake in North America. Rattle snakes in these dry flakes or “buttons” — on the skin of the tail. The emitted sound alerts that this poisonous snake bite. “Rattle” is not born with her immediately, and begins to grow with only “buttons”, which soon dries and becomes a hard shell. Each time the snake shedding his skin under the old skin a new “button” to 11 pieces.

When we got to their office, rattle snakes came to life. Crawled to the glass, began to consider us.

They are likely to want to eat, they are usually indifferent to the guests — responsible Olga Alexandrovna to my silent question.

By the way, the rattle snakes even if you build a new terrarium Kharkiv will never see it. And all because the rules of the exposition of poisonous snakes is very hard. Terrariums with venomous reptiles should open in a separate room, and the staff would need to undergo special refresher courses in Moscow and then receiving the certificate.

There are at the zoo and endangered snakes. This Cuban Boas.

— Until 2010 we lived only male Cuban boa. And this year, us exchange given a pair of Cuban Boas of the new offspring. But before the age of six offspring they will not, even though already three years into adulthood — ends his tour of the “secret funds” Olga Kalinovskaya.

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