Hista was a giant (and ancient) African rock python seen in The Legend of Tarzan. He threatened the gorilla family and no one seemed able to fight him evenly. He had a history with Tarzan's gorilla family, having attacked them frequently many years ago, until disappearing later on. Having returned, he intended to make a meal out of anyone in his path.
Tarzan and the Challenger
The gargantuan python known as Hista had encountered the gorilla family long before the start of the original and series. Decades ago, back when Kala was still very young, Hista came and attacked the family. An elder of the family explained that when he appeared, he chased after them and terrorized the family for weeks. No matter where they ran, Hista always found them. Escaping him seemed impossible for the gorillas until he suddenly disappeared at some point. He was not seen for decades afterwards
Hista appeared in the episode as the main antagonist. When the giant snake attacked while Tarzan was having a picnic with Jane, Moyo, one of the gorillas in Tarzan's family, managed to fend off Hista and chase him away for the time being. When Tarzan returned, Moyo boasted about this one-time accomplishment, claiming that Tarzan was too busy being with Jane to protect the family from the snake, and challenged Tarzan for leadership of the gorillas. Moyo defeated Tarzan, though by default. The young gorilla led the family away and, by an error of judgment, into a tar pit. The gorillas soon faced off against Hista again, who was seeking revenge and to prey on the trapped gorillas. After some conflict, Moyo and Tarzan cooperated to rescue the family from both the tar and the snake, with Moyo helping to save Jane while Tarzan rescued the other gorillas. Tarzan then used Hista's ability to see body heat against the giant python, covering himself and his companions with mud to hide them, and then strategically revealing himself. Using this trick, he lured Hista into the tar pit where the great snake became stuck and sank, forever ending the python's reign of terror.
- Hista shares similarities to the snakes from the 1997 adventure-horror film Anaconda.
- Hista is one of the few villains of the TV series to die.
- Hista has poor vision and relies on his ability to sense body heat to track his prey. Interestingly, he is the only snake in Disney so far who is pointed out and displayed to have this trait.
- Hista has a pair of fangs, which no real python has, as they are not venomous and kill prey by constricting it. However the fangs are added to make him look scarier.
- Hista seems to be exceptionally long-lived for a python, as he is both massive and old, having attacked the gorilla family when Kala was young. This likely makes him 30+ years of age at least.
- Though it is not specified what kind of python Hista is, he is likely an African rock python (Python sebae sebae), which can grow to lengths of more than 20 feet. However, Hista is closer to 40-50 feet, making him freakishly large even for his species and more in line with prehistoric snakes like Titanoboa in terms of size.
- Hista may hunt gorillas because he is so enormous. In reality, pythons in Africa hunt antelope, monkeys, goats, bats, warthogs, and smaller crocodiles among other creatures, as gorillas are too big for a snake to eat.