When a recreation park in Indonesia put a huge reticulated python on show last week, keepers insisted to reporters it was 15 metres long. That would have made it the longest ever caught.
But amid growing scepticism of the claim, a photographer working for Reuters returned to the Curugsewu park in the small central Java town of Kendal on Wednesday with a measuring tape. The snake's true length is around 6.5 metres.
"I have no idea why the snake has shrunk," said one keeper when asked about the discrepancy, as the snake lounged on a tree branch inside its cage.
According to the Guinness World Records, the longest discovered snake was also a reticulated python from Indonesia. It was 10 metres long when found in Sulawesi island in 1912.
In 2002, Samantha, a snake measuring eight metres and which was dubbed the largest in captivity, died in the Bronx Zoo in
Samantha came from Indonesia's side of Borneo island.
Record-breaking or not, word of the huge snake in Kendal
has spread, tripling the number of visitors to the state-run
park, normally known just for its scenery and waterfalls.