MALAGA – A local man contacted the rural guard on Tuesday morning advising them he had seen a large snake near the MQ-3111 road. This connects the towns of Colmenar (near Montes de Málaga nature park), and Olías. The man stated he did not think it was a snake local to the area.
The rural ranger contacted the specialised Nature Protections Group of the Local Police in Malaga (Grupona).
Together with the rural ranger from the Montes de Malaga, agents from Grupona went to the scene.
Python over 3 metres long
When the agents got there, they saw the snake at the side of the road between bushes. According to Europa Press, they identified the snake as being an Indian Python (Python Molurus). It was over 3 metres in length.
As reported by El Español, using specialised equipment, the officers prepared to capture the snake from both ends and attempt to put it in a suitable container for transportation. However, this was not so easy as the snake also weighed around 8 kilos. And they had to be careful not to injure the Python.
Once the snake was controlled, it was put into a small bucket with a lid. However, this is normally used for much smaller snakes.
The snake was then transported to the Municipal Zoosanitary Centre. There it was confirmed to be in good health.
Not normally associated with Spain
This type of snake is Python large, but nonvenomous and is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is also known by as the Indian python, black-tailed python, Indian rock python, and Asian rock python. It is not normally associated with Spain.
They can grow to almost 8 metres in length and weigh up to almost 140 kilos. Although they are not venomous, they have great strength and can wrap themselves around you, crushing you. Due to the lower jaw being indirectly connected to the scull, Pythons can dislocate the jaw allowing them to swallow large prey. However, it is said they prefer smaller animals such as rodents.
The Molurus Python appears on the The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021 as being categorised as “near threatened” and is subject to international management and trade controls. However, they have been seen available for purchase on Spanish online “buy sell” sites. Always ensure you know the law before considering purchasing an “exotic pet”.
The skins of the Pythons are much sought after by the fashion industry, particularly for shoes and bags. And as stated in a report by the International Trade Centre, “The trade in wildlife provides income to millions of people around the world, particularly to rural
communities in developing countries. The trade is, however, characterised by widespread illegality and there is real concern about its lack of transparency and sustainability.