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Python caught in Malaysia could be the largest ever recorded

The Independent logo The Independent 11/04/2016 Rachael Pells
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A huge python found in Malaysia could break the record for the longest snake ever to be caught.

The reticulated python - thought to be at least eight metres (26ft) - was discovered on a construction site on Penang island and is said to weigh around 250kg.

Construction workers, who were in the process of building a flyover on the popular tourist island, called for emergency services after spotting the snake under a tree.

Malaysia’ Civil Defence Department, the team that caught the snake, said it took them 30 minutes to trap the dangerous reptile.

The Guinness Book of World Records currently names the world’s longest snake to be kept in captivity as Medusa, also a reticulated python, who lives in Missouri, US.

Medusa is said to weigh 158.8kg – over 90kg lighter than the Malaysian beast – and is kept on show at The Edge of Hell Haunted House in Kansas City.

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In order to take Medusa’s crown, the Penang python – who is yet to be given a nickname – would first have to be verified by the Guinness World Records body.

Before Medusa, the previous record holder was a 7.3m python named Fluffy, who died in 2010 at the age of 18 years old.

The Penang python is currently being held at the southwest civil defence team’s office in Sungai Ara, but will eventually be handed to the state Wildlife Department.

Reticulated pythons are typically found in the tropical rainforests of south-east Asia and take their name from the gridded pattern on their skin. They usually grow to between three and six metres long and reside in water.

It is believed that even longer snakes could be living in the wild – in 1912, a python found and shot on the island now known as Sulawesi, Indonesia, was reported to be 10 metres long.

Larger pythons have been observed to eat monkeys, wild boar and deer by strangling their prey and swallowing them whole.

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