‘This is a milestone towards conserving and breeding pythons’
For the first time in the country, 26 pythons were hatched using incubators at the Chittagong Zoo on Thursday.
Dr Shahadat Hossain, Chittagong Zoo's acting deputy curator and veterinary surgeon confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
A python of the zoo laid a total of 35 eggs two months ago. Initially the eggs were kept with the mother python. However, as the eggs began to get damaged due to high temperature and unfavourable weather, the zoo authorities decided to hatch the eggs using incubators.
Controlled temperature helped the eggs incubate and finally 26 eggs successfully hatched till Thursday noon.
"This is a milestone towards conserving and breeding pythons. We will take care of the hatchlings at the zoo until they are capable of surviving by themselves. We can then release them in their natural habitat," said Dr Shahadat Hossain.
Prof Dr Badrul Amin Bhuiya, Chairman of Biodiversity Research Group of Bangladesh said: “Unfortunately the number of pythons is declining drastically in the country due to food crisis. Depletion of forests and hills is also contributing to the dwindling number. Pythons are struggling in the wild much like fowls, civets, squirrels, lizards and skinks, small birds, rodents, hare and other small mammals have decreased.”
There are two species of pythons found in Bangladesh-Malayopython reticulates or Reticulated Python and Python bivittatus or Burmese Python or Rock Python.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorized the two species as critically endangered and endangered respectively.
As per the IUCN, Reticulated Python which is locally known as Ajogor or Gol Bahar is very rare with restricted distribution in the mixed evergreen forests of southeast Bangladesh and its habitats are being lost due to anthropogenic or man-made factors.
On the other hand, Burmese Python or Rock Python which is locally known as Burmese Ajogor are found in forests of northeast and southeast, and the mangroves in the Sundarbans.
Established on February 28 in 1989, the zoo, run by Chittagong district administration, is located on about 2.5 hectares of hilly terrain in the city’s Foy’s Lake area.