After nine years of research, scientists have
confirmed that a snake found in the Cajas National Park west of Cuenca is indeed a new species.
The non-venomous snake, which can grow to five feet in length, is called Philodryas Amaru.
The discovery in 2005 was surprising due to its high altitude habitat, scientists say. It was found near a hot spring at an altitude of of 3,196 meters or 9,842 feet. Because of the cold temperatures at that altitude, the snake can only live in close proximity of hot springs or volcanic vents.