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Newquay Zoo has become the first zoo in the UK to breed the green vine snake in a zoological collection. The breeding pair gave birth to not one but 11 youngsters on Wednesday 13th September. Long nosed vine snakes (ahaetulla nasuta) are usually found in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and feed on frogs and lizards using its binocular vision to hunt.

Vine snakes are a species that are notoriously difficult to breed and rear successfully in zoological collections.

Senior reptile keeper, Gareth O’Dare said; “we are over the moon to have been able to breed this species. Being the first is not only a great achievement for us but it is fantastic for the species. Understanding how to breed this species in zoos can help develop our expertise with similar species of reptile, we hope to share our findings with other zoological collections to further develop the captive population of vine snakes and other reptiles alike.”

The only zoo in the UK to keep vine snakes, Newquay Zoo, have housed this species of snake for over 3 years now. Knowledge of the species amongst specialists is still minimal, Gareth comments; “we estimate that the gestation period of vine snakes is around 6 months as we have been monitoring the pair for some time now, however, as they have never bred in captivity before we cannot be 100% sure.”

This ground-breaking news is a great achievement for Newquay Zoo. The charity zoo now hope similar husbandry techniques can be used to further our success with other rare and endangered species of snake.

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