Snake at the doctor’s - level 3

Snake at the doctor’s - level 3

31-07-2014 07:00

Not everyone enjoys a trip to the doctor’s, especially if you're a 23-foot (7 metres) python who needs a ultrasound heart scan.

Yes, that's right. Chester Zoo's reptile resident, JF the python, had her annual check-up, but not without the helping hands of ten zoo staff who had to carry her to the vet’s.

JF is thought to be one of the biggest snakes in Europe weighing around 60 kilograms.

And while vets performed the scan, her eyes were covered to calm her down.

“What we're hoping to do with the ultrasound from our snake's point of view is we can tell an awful lot about the health of the heart and the heart muscle from taking measurements from cardiac ultrasound, from a heart ultrasound. And healthy heart is moving the blood flow. So it's looking at her overall heart health.”

The team of cardio experts have attempted similar tests on giraffes and sharks but say snake's hearts are particularly interesting, as they've got three chambers, unlike human hearts which have four.

Difficult words: not everyone enjoys a trip to the doctor’s (most people and animals hate going to the doctor), python (large tropical snake), ultrasound (special medical scan), reptile (cold-blooded animal like a turtle or a snake), resident (someone or something that lives somewhere), annual (every year), cardiac (heart).


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