Alerts

Please note February 3rd to February 4th 2023, Zoomobile may be experiencing closures and delays due to weather and unforeseen circumstances.
Please note that due to the cold temperatures expected, the Conservation Carousel will be closed on Saturday, February 4.

Please also note our Zoomobile will now be taking an alternate route through the Eurasia Wilds and will no longer be travelling through the Eurasia Drive Thru.


Please note the following animals that may not be viewable at this time:

Americas Pavilion
Two-toed sloth, golden lion tamarin, white-faced saki, river otter, Eastern loggerhead shrike, and black-footed ferret are all currently not viewable due to habitat maintenance.

Eurasia Wilds
The Stellar Sea Eagles are currently not viewable.

Canadian Domain: 
Closed for the season.

African Savanna:
Some animals may not be viewable due to decreasing temperatures.

Kids Zoo
Closed for the season.


Saturday, February 25 - Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause 5K/1K Run/Walk

Please be advised that your Toronto Zoo and Canada Running Series will be hosting the Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause 5K/1K Run/Walk at the Zoo on February 25th to raise funds for the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy and polar bear conservation. 

Please note the following operational impacts:

  • For their well-being, some animals along the Move Your Paws route may be delayed going out on habitat in the morning. Guests may experience slight delays on other pathways as the run finishes and the race route is cleared. 
    • Tundra Trek: Caribou will not be visible and the path to the Caribou habitat will be closed for the entire day
  • Zoomobile: Begins operating at 11:45 am
Reticulated Python
Reticulated Python
Reptile

Location at the Zoo:
Indo-Malaya
Region: Indomalaya


Reticulated Python

Reticulated pythons have complex, geometric skin patterns. The name refers to the net-like appearance of bold, dark, oval, or triangular markings on a lighter yellowish or brown background. These are flanked by smaller markings with light centers. The skin is iridescent. A black line extends over the head from the nose to the neck and another on each side from the eye to the angle of the mouth. The underparts are mostly yellowish, with small brown spots on the sides. This is a very large snake. Its potential length is longer than any other species of snake. Lengths of five metres are common and lengths of over seven metres occur regularly. They are sexually dimorphic in size, females are larger than males. The longest on record is 10 m. Maximum recorded weight is 158 kg. This species can live up to 25 years or more.

Conservation Status: IUCN




Distribution:

Southeast Asia,from India to the Philipines.

Habitat:

Tropical forests and hillsides, often found near ponds and streams.

Diet:

They are strictly carnivorous and kill by constriction. Having a low metabolic rate they are mainly ambush predators. Small, younger pythons feed mostly on rodents. As they grow longer prey items taken become larger and include pigs, deer, pangolins, porcupines, and monkeys.

Reproduction:

Sexual maturity is reached within four years. Males breed at between 2.13 and 2.75 m. and females become receptive at around 3.35 m. Breeding usually takes place between September and March, triggered by changes in light and temperature levels. The number of eggs laid varies, usually the larger the female, the greater the number of eggs laid, most often between 25 and 80. She may fast during this period. The eggs are large, oval and soft shelled and hatch in 80 to 90 days. Females coil around her eggs and “shiver” by producing muscle contractions to increase the temperature of her eggs. She will also defend them against predators. Once hatched, baby snakes become independent. Hatchlings may measure from 55 to 75 cm and weigh 250 grams or more. Growth is fairly rapid during the first few years. Generally speaking, a three metre reticulated python is three to four years old. Growth slows down with advancing years.

Adaptation:

A versatile jaw enables snakes to swallow food head first and whole, even when the prey is larger in diameter than the snake's body. The quadrate bone, connecting the lower jaw loosely to the skull works like a double jointed hinge so that the snake can drop its lower jaw at the back of its mouth as well as at the front. The lower jaw can also be stretched sideways since its two halves are connected at the chin by an elastic muscle. Sharp, recurved teeth hold the prey in place while the snake, moving first one side and then the other of its mobile jaws seems to "walk" its gaping mouth forward around its food. As with all snakes the overlapping scales of the skin expand to accommodate the size of the meal. The highly variable pattern which adorns its iridescent skin provides very effective camouflage. The retina of pythons has both types of cells - rods and cones. The former are dim-light receptors, the latter bright light receptors. Four upper labial shields of each side are pitted. Chemoreception is well developed in pythons.

Threats to Survival:

Young snakes are vulnerable to many predators. Larger snakes are hunted for their skins. Blood letting and gall bladder removal also occur.