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Snake is star reptile for zoo keepers
12:00pm Sunday 10th March 2013 in News
A RED-TAILED green ratsnake at Dudley Zoo is showcasing his luminous skin after shedding a perfect slough.
The one-metre three year-old snake, named Paul, is proving to be the star of the Reptile House as he sheds his skin entirely, leaving behind an exact case of his scaly body – known as a slough.
Trainee keeper, Sam Grove, said: “Snakes usually shed their skin around every eight weeks, but Paul is the only one in the Reptile House who sheds it all in one go.
"He produces perfect sloughs every time, whereas all the others shed their skin in bits."
Sam added: “He has only been at DZG for a year, but I’ve kept most of his sloughs. Not only do they allow us to keep track of his growth, but they are also fascinating to look at. He’s the pride and joy of the Reptile House!”
A South East Asian species, red-tailed green ratsnakes have smooth scales on their underside which allows them to climb trees and vines – which is also a particular favourite pastime for Paul, who can usually be spotted wrapped around the vine at the top of his enclosure.
The Castle Hill attraction's Reptile House is currently undergoing a £15,000 refurbishment. Members of DZG’s Development Team are remodelling individual enclosures, installing timber flooring and cladding to walls around the public-viewing corridors as well as adding a new glazed dual entrance.