Radio 2

Burmese python fished out of Flemish canal

Fishers along the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal spotted a 4 metre Burmese python yesterday. At first, they thought it was a toy, but on inspection they discovered it was the constrictor snake from Southeast Asia.

Mirsa and his son Sadmir were fishing on the waterway in Zelzate (East Flanders) when they noticed this remarkable creature. “At first, we thought it was a toy, but when my father pulled it closer to the bank using his line, we noticed it was a large Burmese python.  It measured 3m95” says Sadmir.

Mirsa spends his days on the banks of the canal fishing. “At first, he thought it was a toy, balloons or refuse.  He threw out his line and his weight got wrapped around the snake.  He then pulled it in and it was then he discovered what he has actually caught!” says Sadmir.

Mirsa used a special hook to bring the serpent on land. He measured it: nearly 4 metres!

“My father is experienced with snakes” explains Sadmir. “He’s used to tropical animals in his native Bosnia.  There he encountered snakes, usually smaller ones and poisonous ones too.  This one he recognised too!”

Thanks to his earlier experiences Mirsa wasn’t afraid.  The animal was also dead. It made a change from their usual catch of plaice, crabs and bikes.

The Burmese python is a constrictor snake native to Southeast Asia.  The snake probably ended up alive in the water but how exactly that happened will be investigated by environmental officers.

Radio 2

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