IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'Longest' snake doesn't quite measure up

When a recreation park in Indonesia put a huge reticulated python on show last week, keepers insisted to reporters it was 49 feet long -- making it the longest ever caught. But the find turned out to be a tall tale.
GIANT RETICULATED PYTHON MEASURED BY KEEPER IN KENDAL
How long is this Indonesian python? Its keepers had claimed 49 feet, but a later measurement tagged it at 21 feet.Dwi Oblo / Reuters
/ Source: Reuters

It’s still a big snake, just not a record-breaker.

When a recreation park in Indonesia put a huge reticulated python on show last week, keepers insisted to reporters it was 49 feet long. That made it the longest ever caught.

But amid growing skepticism of the claim, a photographer working for Reuters returned to the Curugsewu park in the small central Java town of Kendal on Wednesday with a measuring tape. The snake’s true length -- around 21 feet.

“I have no idea why the snake has shrunk,” said one keeper when asked about the discrepancy, as the snake lounged on a tree branch inside its cage.

According to the Guinness World Records, the longest discovered snake was also a reticulated python from Indonesia. It was 33 feet long when found in Sulawesi island in 1912.

Record-breaking or not, word of the huge snake in Kendal has spread, tripling the number of visitors to the state-run park, normally known just for its scenery and waterfalls.