Exmoor Zoo welcomes boas and says goodbye to puma kittens
CROWDS at Exmoor Zoo were treated to a rare spectacle last weekend when they were able to witness the live birth of eighteen boa constrictors.
The 12-year-old snake gave birth for only the second time in front of an audience on Saturday September 29.
Lynn Reynolds, Commercial Manager at the zoo, said people were amazed to get the chance to see the live birth.
"It was stunning," she said. "People always assume snakes are going to be egg bearers so they were quite shocked to see the live babies come out."
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She added that the 18 babies will eventually leave the zoo and go on to private breeders.
And while one new litter has arrived at the zoo the time has also come for another to depart.
Three puma kittens who were born on March 31 this year are now able to leave their mother and go off to breed in other parts of the country.
Zoo curator, Danny Reynolds, said some members of the zoo have become quite attached to the three kittens and will be sad to see them leave.
He added that it was never certain the two pumas would get on and produce a litter.
"You can never guarantee who will get on with who," he said. "But we saw the male one day looking smug and we decided he must have done it. We didn't actually see the act but we crossed our fingers."
Danny said the number of pumas in the UK had dropped drastically and so a male, called Niko, was imported from a German zoo to breed with their female.
Three male kittens were born as a result and will now go off to other zoos across the country for breeding.
One kitten has already left but the while the other two are still at the zoo a competition is running to name them.
To submit your entries visit www.exmoorzoo.co.uk and follow the link to the zoo's Facebook page.