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Python hatchlings close day-care center

Dec. 21, 2012 at 12:20 AM

DARWIN, Australia, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A day-care center in northern Australia was temporarily closed Thursday after newly hatched carpet pythons were spotted.

Louise DeBomford, director of the Mitchell Street Childcare Center in Darwin, told the Northern Territory News the first snake was spotted Wednesday morning. By Thursday, there were seven and she decided it was time to call for help.

Michael Stefanidakis and Markis Pilatos, two contractors working for the city of Darwin, removed wall panels and discovered a 10-foot female python. Eventually, 23 hatchlings and the adult snake were removed to other quarters, and 41 broken eggshells were discovered, suggesting there may be more newborns lurking somewhere.

Carpet pythons, which can grow to be 13 feet, are found in much of Australia and in New Guinea and Indonesia.

DeBomford said there have been snakes in the center before and she knew what to expect when she saw the first one.

"I thought there would have to be more than one because we had an inundation of snakes last year, about the same time," DeBomford said.

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