The Environment Agency has granted Reykjavík Zoo a permit to import five ball pythons to the country, Vísir reports. Þorkell Heiðarsson, project manager at the zoo, says the zoo has yet to decide when they will start the process, but importing the snakes will take some time. “We’re not in a hurry but it’s time to restock the reptiles.”
The ball python (Python regius) is a nonvenomous constrictor native to West and Central Africa. It is the smallest of the African pythons, growing to a maximum length of 182cm (71.6in). Ball pythons require a minimum temperature of 21°C (69.8°F) and humidity of at least 50%. It is therefore not surprising that a risk assessment conducted by a foreign expert concluded that if the snakes were to escape, they would not survive in the wild in Iceland.
Þorkell has warm praise for the snakes’ character. “Pythons are widely used in teaching. They are considered agreeable, both calm and good-tempered.”