Cik Kiah, a 20-year-old female batik python, leaves her keeper choked

BALIK PULAU, Dec 28: ‘Cik Kiah’, a female batik python which grew into a massive 220 kilogrammes since its keeper captured her as a baby slithering across the road in Teluk Bahang some 20 years ago, was found dead here yesterday.

Its doting owner, Mohd Redzuan Abdullah Zawawi, 39, said he last checked on Cik Kiah in her special room at about 11 am and found the 20-year-old reptile lifeless. The exact cause of its death could not be yet ascertained.

“For the past two or three days, she has been unwell and I don’t know why this morning (yesterday) when I came to take her out, she just lay there lifeless with a bloated stomach.

“Her body was normal and there were no injuries, she may have died because she has reached her lifespan being 20 years old. It is sad and tragic but I accepted her death as fate,” said Redzuan in a video he shared on Facebook.

The exotic seven-metre-long Cik Kiah, which had previously gone viral on social media, comes from the ‘Malayophython reticulatus’ (the world’s longest snake) or reticulated python family and is one of the nine genetically diverse snakes kept by Mohd Redzuan and is claimed to be the largest pet batik python found in captivity in Asia.

According to Mohd Redzuan, Cik Kiah, whom he has cared for since childhood, was very docile and ‘never laid a finger on him’ even though it was seen as a ferocious snake due to her large anaconda-size bulk.

He said he has already informed the Penang Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) about Cik Kiah’s death but, for now, the reptile would be temporarily kept in a refrigerator for two weeks before being handed over to the relevant authority for preservation and possibly display.

Bernama previously published a story about Cik Kiah which was already regarded by Mohd Redzuan as one of his family members.

The two of them met nearly 20 years ago when Mohd Redzuan, who was on his way to Teluk Bahang, stumbled on the finger-sized baby python crossing the road before deciding to take it in as a pet — ‘finders keepers, losers weepers’ – as they say, till death do us part.