The five pythons at Potoroo Palace have comfortable enclosures with heat pads, heat lamps and swimming pools. They each also have a sunning enclosure where they can be seen when the weather is suitable. At talk times they may be taken out to meet visitors.
Maxine is very shy. She is a Children’s Python, the smallest of the Australian pythons. She has a favourite fern in a pot. When she is coiled around it she feels secure. She also likes to nestle under the keeper’s jumper or shirt.
Indigo is also a Children’s Python. She is more relaxed. It is easy to see her curled inside her false rock against the glass in the Reptile House.
Olivia is an Olive Python. She weighs 13 kilos. She has a gentle friendly nature. Often there may be a visitor who shudders even at the word ‘snake’. Usually after 15 minutes of watching Olivia and seeing how she responds to the keeper and others, that person will say, “Oh! Isn’t she beautiful! Can I touch her?” Olivia has a way of calming people and seems drawn to vulnerable or injured people. She loves to explore the park, with a chaperone, and she shines with rainbow colours when she is in the sun. She is the Rainbow Serpent.
Aspe is a Black-headed Python. He came to Potoroo Palace with a bad reputation for striking at everybody and he was then known as Aggro. Alexandra saw his fear so handled him a lot and called him Shy. Then John Marsh developed a special relationship with him and renamed him Aspe. John loves to let people feel Aspe’s muscles as he crawls over their hands. Aspe is always on the move and very macho.
Snakes have no ears and no eyelids. Often people do not realise that they are asleep, because their eyes look open. All snakes are extremely sensitive and easily frightened. Even wild snakes respond well to a calm handler.
Zandra is a Carpet Python.