Thursday, August 4, 2011

Costa Rica - Week 3 Boa Constrictor

We've been hoping to see a Boa, but didn’t quite expect to see one turn up in town. The young Boa pictured below fell out from beneath a car at the local service station as the car pulled away. It must have hitched a ride from somewhere and decided that was far enough.
The lucky young Boa Constrictor after its release in our backyard.
Our local assistant Steve was waiting for fuel and saw the snake appear, a lucky thing for the snake as the attendants were apparently a little fearful of it at first. I was waiting for Steve in the hardware store, and when he brought it in to me I was quite impressed with his bonus find at the gas station. If only Australian service stations would offer free reptiles with every 20 litres of fuel.

I took the snake back out to our rainforest abode, and released it after we’d all had a good look at it and taken a few pics.

It found a nice secure spot to spend the remainder of the day. 

Boa constrictors are the largest and heaviest snakes in Costa Rica. Although they have been recorded at growing to 5.5m, the largest specimens usually found are around 3.5m long. Boas are very robust snakes, so a specimen over three metres is a significant predator. Like pythons, they can feed on animals much larger than their head size. Costa Rican Boas feed on iguanas and other lizards, mammals including monkeys, and even deer. 

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