Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tree-Killing Snake Discovered in Glastonbury!

A rare tree-killing pythonidae celastrus orbiculatus was captured recently by local artist David Magee, who brought the snake to The Glastonbury Citizen.

Above: Artist David Magee with the Glastonbury pythonidae celastrus orbiculatus, now on exhibit
at the Audubon Center. Photo used with permission of the artist and The Glastonbury Citizen.
The snake has since been turned over to the local CT Audubon Society Center at 1361 Main Street for display. Known for its ability to freeze in one position for days when frightened, collection curator Sally Warbler is thrilled with the new acquisition, "It's scared all the time thanks to the many school children who visit. We don't even need a cage and so far it hasn't eaten any food. It's a great fit with our operating budget."

Above: Olivia Vennaro, a local resident and a summer intern at the CT Audubon Society Center
discourages the rare tree-killing snake from attacking nearby trees during its daily
exercise session. Olivia is a biology major at Skidmore College.
Pythonidae celastrus orbiculatus mimics the appearance and behavior of an invasive vine thus its common name "oriental bittersweet python." It is also called "laid-back snake" for it's extremely slow movements. "They're the sloths of the snake family," says herpetologist Egbert Souse, "Completely harmless to humans unless it mistakes you for a tree. The laid-back snake attacks and kills trees because they're the only living organism they can catch."

Souse's advice for handling an encounter with the oriental bittersweet python in the Glastonbury woods? "Doing the hokey-pokey or the Carlton shows them you're not a tree. The combination of dance movements and loud singing always sends them packing, although it may take a few months to see the results." he claims. "But don't do La Macarena, that just gets them mad."