Four Chinese Beauty Snakes (Elaphe taeniura taeniura) were found near #Hasselt prison on Sunday afternoon. The reptiles were found under a mound of stones near the railway tracks. It is already the twentieth registered report this year. The animals were re-released at the capture site after photographs were taken for individual recognition.
In the past, the Chinese Beauty snakes - the new, more correct name for Taiwanese Rat snake - were always captured and collected in the Natuurhulpcentrum Opglabbeek. “Finding a new, good home for these sheltered animals, but also for other exotic reptiles, is becoming a bigger problem. If I looked at it with my biologists glasses, I would have rehoused them. But sometimes I prefer to see it through animal welfare glasses, and placing a perfect, healthy animal in a small glass container is very difficult. Capturing four individual snakes at this location is not going to solve the problem. This would require a much structured solution via the government / politics. Making this site "snake-free" is only possible if you close this entire section of train track for a year and a search team goes there every day in the active season to catch the snakes," says Engelen.
Luckily, according to a study in the Netherlands, this species can do little harm. “It is a species without an invasive character with a limited impact on native species. They feed on rats and mice in this urban environment. And apparently there are enough. Because the specimens that we find were very well fed and healthy. "
And so Belgian Limburg has next to the grass snake (Natrix natrix) and smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) a third, albeit exotic snake species that breeds. The snake clearly remains close to the train tracks where it has been spotted for more than a decade.
Source: Het Belang van Limburg Photo: Peter Engelen