With coloured varieties, Siberia's n-town zoo marks 'Year of Snake'

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 01, 2013 07:20 hrs

Moscow, Jan 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A zoo in the nuclear town of Seversk near Tomsk in Siberia, entry to which is highly restricted, is marking the new year by unveiling the latest additions to its reptile exhibit - four strikingly coloured snakes.

According to the zoo authorities, the colourings are the result of selective breeding, and are not found in the wild. These snakes will be on show to visitors in 2013, once they are older and stronger.

"First there are two colour variations of the Honduran milk snake - albino and tangerine. And second, two colour variations of the queen python - bumblebee and pastel," the Seversk Zoo said in a statement.

Access to Seversk for foreigners and Russians alike is restricted.

Foreigners require approval from Russia's Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) to enter the town, and the process takes about 45 days, according to information on the town's website.

According to the Chinese horoscope, 2013 is the Year of the Black Water Snake.

Formerly known as Tomsk-7, Seversk is home to the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC), one of the world's leading nuclear centres.

The SCC was founded in 1949, according to the International Science and Technology Centre site, to "eliminate the US monopoly in nuclear armaments".

Seversk remains at the forefront of Russia's nuclear power industry.

--IANS/RIA Novosti


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