Australia’s biggest snake has tipped the scales at 137kg at her annual weigh in today.
Atomic Betty, the longest species of snake in the world, was put on a strict diet of a few goats a year when she hit 135kg in 2011.
So keepers at the Australian Reptile Park in Gosford were pleased to see the reticulated python had only gained 2kg in 12 months.
It took six reptile keepers half an hour to bag the 6.5-metre snake and potential man-eater.
Tim Faulkner, the park’s operations manager, said it was no mean feat to get Betty, who has the ability to crush a person to death and swallow them whole, out of her glass enclosure.
“The scary thing is that she has the ability to crush us,” Faulkner said at the park in Gosford, on the NSW Central Coast.
“You’ve got about a second to grab (her head) because as we go down they’ve got extremely good vision and she is going to strike.”
Mr Faulkner said Betty’s favourite food was goat.
“She didn’t grow by a lot and that’s because we actually stopped her from consuming as much food,” he said.
“This year she only had about three or four goats as opposed to maybe 10 because she was getting a little bit too round rather than getting longer.”
Betty, who was imported from the US in 2001, usually swallows a goat in about an hour though it takes up to a week to digest.
She is expected to grow another metre in the next seven years.
The reticulated python is usually found in southeast Asia. The constrictor is non-venomous but is a man-eater and strong enough to swallow a human whole.