Burmese pythons, with their beautifully patterned skin, rapid growth rate, and generally docile disposition, may be best known as the large snake of choice among reptile owners. Unfortunately these potentially huge constrictors are often poorly cared for and are frequently released into the wild. Attacks on handlers, sometimes deadly, are not uncommon.
Native to the jungles and grassy marshes of Southeast Asia, Burmese pythons are among the largest snakes on Earth. They are capable of reaching 23 feet or more in length and weighing up to 200 pounds with a girth as big as a telephone pole. When young, they will spend much of their time in the trees. However, as they mature and their size and weight make tree climbing unwieldy, they transition to mainly ground-dwelling. They are also excellent swimmers, and can stay submerged for up to 30 minutes before surfacing for air.