Huge Australian Python Weighs in After Strict Diet

Category: Science / Jan 04, 2012 9:41AM EDT

A giant python named Atomic Betty in Gosford, Australia, was weighed on Wednesday (January 4) after her keepers put her on a strict diet. It took six people half an hour to carry the hefty 6.5 metre (21 foot) snake from her enclosure for her annual weigh-in. When she previously reached 135 kilograms (298 pounds), her keepers decided it was time she needed to slim down. During Wednesday's weigh-in, it was found that Atomic Betty had gained two kilograms (four pounds), bringing her weight to 137 kilograms (302 pounds), which was within zoo keepers' expectations. We've had her on a bit of a diet. She only had three or four goats this year. That's okay. She's big enough, said Tim Faulkner, zoo keeper at the Australian Reptile park. Atomic Betty had previously enjoyed eating ten goats per year, which zoo keepers said was making her gain too much weight. She is able eat a goat in half an hour, but it takes up to a week for her to digest it. Atomic Betty's species, the reticulated python, is the longest snake species in the world.