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Two red-tailed racer snakes have hatched at Newquay Zoo. The two, which are currently around 40cms in length, but which will grow to around 2 metres, are adjusting well to life outside the shell.

Newquay Zoo is home to one of only four breeding pairs in the UK. The youngsters hatched on Monday the 28th May and are currently on a diet of small rodents.

Red-tailed racer snakes come from South East Asia, and are natural tree dwellers. However, research at Newquay Zoo which contributed to the refurbishment and design of the Tropical House in 2016, found that their natural habitats were always close to water. A new enclosure was created with both branches and water; observations showed that the snakes spent a considerable amount of time partly submerged in water.

This discovery was not only important for Newquay Zoo, but for zoos across the country, helping staff develop naturalistic enclosures which allow animals to exhibit as many natural behaviours as possible.

Learning more about housing and breeding species is incredibly important. Senior Keeper Gareth O’Dare commented: “We are really pleased with the amount we have learnt and progressed with the species so far at the Zoo and hope that in years to come we will be able to breed more of the species.”

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