Burnie - Burmese Python Two by Rohan Thomson

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To celebrate the completed expansion of the National Zoo and Aquarium, the stunning variety of the animal world has been captured in a series of portraits exclusive to The Store by Fairfax. 

Burnie was a defensive and vulnerable young snake when he and another Burmese python arrived in Canberra from the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast, but he has grown familiar and comfortable with human handling. Like most non-venomous snakes, this species kills prey by constriction. When visitors are hesitant to hold Burnie, who weighs 8.4 kilos, keepers explain that he perceives humans as trees rather than prey. The python can reach seven metres long and a hefty 90 kilos, making it one of the largest snakes on earth. His rapid growth rate means eight-year-old Burnie reach those proportions. The species is native to Southeast Asia, but after being imported to the US for the pet trade, thousands escaped or were released into the Florida Everglades, where they threaten the local ecosystem and wildlife. Their conservation status is classified as ‘vulnerable’, a result of their exploitation for food and the billion-dollar python skin trade.

Fairfax photographer Rohan Thomson’s ambitious project took months of effort, bringing him closer to these animals than anyone could hope to be. The time and patience he committed to his work is apparent in the sense of calm and connection with each of his subjects.

A portion of proceeds from the sale of each of these images will go to wildlife conservation charities selected by the National Zoo & Aquarium.

A digital C-Type printing method with a Kodak Professional Premier Endura paper has been used.


  • A4: 210mm x 297mm
  • A3: 297mm x 420mm
  • A2: 420mm x 594mm


  • Box frames are sourced from sustainable plantation timber 
  • Frame dimensions are 20mm face and 37mm depth 
  • Available in Classic White, Matte Black, Tasmanian Oak & Dark Timber 
  • 2mm clear acrylic with 80% UV protection rating 
  • Artworks are mounted to acid-free foam core 
  • Artworks are set to the rear of the frame with a 20mm space to the acrylic 

Our printing partner

Vision Image Lab, our professional printing partner, also arranges framing and delivery. You can contact it directly regarding any delivery enquiries regarding this print.

Email: accounts@visionimagelab.com.au

Contact: (02) 9319 3300

Richard Tindale’s journey began in the late 1990s, when he sold his business to travel the world with his wife, Maureen, chasing big cats. “I loved cats as pets growing up, and as I got older I became more and more fascinated,” he says. “We travelled as far as South America to North America, to Canada and Alaska, Nepal and India. We came to the conclusion there weren’t many left in the wild and felt compelled to do something before they get wiped out.” Back in Australia, the couple wanted to start a breeding program for lions and tigers. The sale of the Canberra Aquarium site in 1998 was the perfect opportunity. While passionate about animal welfare, they had little experience and needed to invest millions of dollars into renovations and expansions. After years of what Tindale calls “organised chaos”, the facility now boasts a large range of native and introduced species, including Australia’s largest collection of big cats and the only tiglon (a tiger and lion hybrid) in Australasia. “The number of people who visit and get so emotional when they are talking to you is unbelievable. They come here for the adrenalin rush and walk away with a different view. And that’s the long-term goal: the more people who see something special, the more impact it will have on the animals. That’s what we’ve dedicated our lives to and what motivates us.”
Delivery expected within 15 business days


  • A4: 210mm x 297mm
  • A3: 297mm x 420mm
  • A2: 420mm x 594mm