Tiger snake found in Tasmania

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    Tiger snake found in Tasmania with 'grotesque' spine diagnosed with rare disease

    By Lucy Shannon
    Posted 8 minutes agoMon 2 Feb 2015, 11:43am
    PHOTO: The snake dubbed "Rocky" is not expected to live long.(Reptile Rescue Tasmania)
    MAP: Swansea 7190
    A Tasmanian tiger snake has created global interest after being diagnosed with a rare spinal condition.
    Dubbed "Rocky", the snake has a genetic condition called Charcot's Disease which causes marble-sized lumps to form along its spine.
    Bruce Press from Reptile Rescue Tasmania said the snake was discovered at a property named The Lair, on the state's east coast.
    Mr Press said he could not believe his eyes when he pulled the snake from a hole with a hook.
    "To see the snake it's really unique, it's got about 28 marble-sized lumps on the back but it can still freely move."
    Mr Press said the 60 centimetre female snake was healthy but would not live a long life.
    "It's not in pain but after some years it can be a bit degenerative and the spine will fuse together and the best thing to do is euthanase the snake."
    "We're not allowed to let the snake breed so the only thing I can do humanely for the snake is keep it in captivity and feed it smaller mice that it can digest with its grotesquely bent spine and let it live out its years until its spine starts to fuse."
    It is believed to be the 16th snake in the world to be diagnosed with the condition.
    Since posting pictures on Reptile Rescue Tasmania's Facebook page, he said he had received calls from snake enthusiasts around the world.
    "I've had 278 phone calls from yesterday about it, it's just phenomenal and to see the snake it's really unique," he said.
    PHOTO: X-rays revealed the disease which creates marble-sized lumps.(Reptile Rescue Tasmania)

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