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By Biology teacher and Reptile Society leader Mr Will Atkins:

We’re proud to announce that Rebecca de Winter, our Aesculapian snake, has laid a clutch of 19 eggs during our absence from school.  Maybe the extra degree of privacy that she has been afforded by the lockdown made her less shy, who knows?  She was seen a few weeks earlier in the snaky embrace of her mate, Max de Winter, and our biological knowledge suggests that this may be the reason for the production of her eggs…

Rebecca is a fading film star, having appeared on the BBC programme The One Show back in September 2015.  Perhaps her progeny will go on to develop their own media careers when they grow up.  It takes about 6-7 weeks for the eggs to develop once they have been laid, and they need to be incubated at around 30 degrees centigrade during that time.  Mrs Dickie, our technician, has agreed to take on the (hopefully not too onerous) task of looking after the eggs.

It’s not the first time we have had baby snakes in the Biology Department – Steve and Priscilla the King Snakes produced 8 babies around 15 years ago, and although sadly neither of them is with us any longer we do have Bob, one of their offspring, living in B1.