COFFS HARBOR, Australia, Oct. 9 (UPI) — Leroy, a black-headed python, has died after years as the star attraction at Steve McEwan’s Reptile World on the east coast of Australia, McEwan said.
The 24-year-old snake died last week, The Coffs Coast Advocate reported.
“A lot of kids grew up with Leroy,” McEwan said. “And a lot of people got over their fears with him. Local pre-schoolers are going to be absolutely devastated, they loved him. They used to sit in a circle with their legs out and he would crawl over their legs.”
McEwan acquired Leroy from another reptile park nine years ago. During his time with the show, Leroy met a number of the high and mighty, including New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees.
The snake handlers knew Leroy was approaching the end of his days, McEwan said, but he had become one of the family.
“He was going through the shedding process, had a belly full of food and had made love — he died a happy snake,” McEwan said.
Buddy, Leroy’s 5-year-old son, will take over as the new star attraction.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International