Snake breeders are turning pythons into pumpkins just in time for Halloween and unlike Cinderella's coach, there's no time limit on this not-so-magical transformation.
Reptile breeders like Justin Kobylka have made the headlines recently thanks to their amazing “designer morphs” of the Ball Python. Roughly 5,300 different morphs currently exist and these striking patterns have found favor among snake fanciers far from this non-threatened constrictor snake's native range in sub-Saharan Africa.
This particular morph was developed by Tom Carlton of Cypress Creek Reptiles, and bears some similarity to the so-called Emoji Snake, a specially-bred Lavender Albino Piebald Ball Python selectively bred by Georgia reptile breeder Justin Kobylka. The Jack-o'-lantern Snake adds black highlights to the mix, enhancing the overall orange & black Halloween vibe.
For those worried about any possible exploitation and/or mistreatment of these snakes, it should be noted that the conservation status of the Ball Python (Python regius) is rated by the IUCN as being of Least Concern. Most reputable snake breeders take care to ensure their “inventory” is as healthy as possible and besides, selective breeding for visual appeal is MUCH preferred to, say, tattooing them. (images via ALL-SEEING-V)