Kisumu Museum staff uncoil a python weighing 54 kg and measuring 15 feet
after it was found in Nyalunya in Nyakach district, Kisumu county on
February 1, 2013
In a week when heavy rains felled a century-old sacred tree in
Tetu, Nyeri County, a python that is likely to snake its way into
Kenya’s zoology books has been discovered in Nyakach.
The 15-foot python was discovered on Thursday by residents of Nyalunya location, about 42km from Kisumu.
If it were to stand on its tail on a football
goal-line, the 55-kg python would have the crossbar touching its
half-length mark.
The discovery elicited excitement among the villagers, who could not resist the urge to have a glimpse of the reptile.
The snake had been living in a hole on a bushy area between two homesteads.
The villagers can now rest in peace knowing where their goats had been disappearing to.
Nation Museums staff in Kisumu collected the female python late that evening.
Longest reptile
It is now the longest reptile at the museum,
dwarfing the hitherto record holder by a foot and a half. It also holds
the record of being the first female python there.
Its new diet will be rabbits, rats and goats which it will be served once a week or two.
“The interval between the times when we feed them
depends on what it has eaten. If it eats a goat, for instance, it can
comfortably go for up to three months without food,” explained Mr Edwin
Kiga, a snake handler at the museum, adding that the new python could go
for up to six months without food as it adjusts to its new environment.
Giant pythons are not new to Nyakatch. It is the
same region that produced the famous Omieri, a python that slithered
into fame in 1987 when village elders opposed a move by the Kenya
Wildlife Service to take it away for treatment after it was burnt by a
bush fire. It died while undergoing treatment.
In 2003, another a 14-foot python was discovered
in the area. Some villagers claimed its appearance was a sign of good
things to come.
Then area MP Peter Odoyo told the Nation that the snake was not to be moved without the consent of the village elders.
Villagers claimed the appearance of the python,
which they referred to as a ‘visitor’, was an indicator that they were
going to have a bumper harvest.
An elder is on record saying that starvation was imminent if anyone dared take egg-brooding Omieri away.
However, the python discovered on Thursday was not one that villagers wanted to cling to.
Area chief Kenneth Mboya explained that it was not
in the Omieri lineage. “Omieri was distinctly black in colour and
rarely neared people’s residences but this one had a spotted skin and
was living close to people’s houses,” he said.