Keeping Green Tree Pythons here in the tropics, is easier than in cooler climatic zones. Here, ‘Mother nature’ takes care of the correct temperatures, humidity, airflow and photoperiod. My snakes have access to sunshine, rain, changes in atmospheric pressure and even the occasional cyclone. They are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures, surrounded by lush vegetation of our garden, thus optimising their conditions.

Given this environment, annual mating takes place naturally, without the need for artificial cooling. However, I do provide warm, secluded enclosures for the gravid females in case there is a sudden drop in temperature. This breeding program commenced in 2005, and I’m now entering the stage when I can plan selective breeding, designed to enhance certain desirable traits such as a continuous white vertebral line.

One outstanding feature of my juveniles is their substantial body weight. Neonates weighing between 12 and 16 grams at hatching are robust snakes, which, coupled with a sensible diet, prevents the dreaded rectal prolapse that we frequently hear about. So far, I haven’t had a single case of prolapse, and I hope this record will continue.

Cash – my head reptile keeper.