With the arrival of five green anacondas from Sri Lanka on Tuesday night, the zoo has become the first in the country to have the massive reptile that movie buffs loved to hate.
The green anacondas (Eunectes murinus) is the largest of the various species of the giant snake that is found in Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and on the island of Trinidad.
The five anacondas, donated by the National Zoo at Dehiwela near Colombo, were brought to Chennai airport on Tuesday by a Sri Lankan Airlines flight. A team of zoo veterinarian and animal keepers received the reptiles and transported them from Chennai to Mysore by road. The five anacondas, all 15 months old, are in good health. They are 3-5 feet in length and weighing about 400 - 1500 gm, B P Ravi, executive director of the Zoo said.
The snakes are housed in python enclosure, and will remain there until the new enclosure being built for them is completed by the end of the year.
The anaconda enclosure is being constructed adjacent to the snake enclosures at an estimated cost of the enclosure is Rs nine lakh. There are two separate enclosures, and two viewing points, with glass paneling. Natural environmental conditions will be simulated through a water pond and greenery to make the reptiles feel at home and move around freely, the director said.
The other reptile species the zoo has include the Striped Keel Back, King Cobra, Rat Snake, Indian Sand Boa, Rough Scaled Sand Boa, Reticulated Python, Rock Python, Common Indian Krait, Russell Viper & Indian Cobra.
The Green Anaconda is the largest snake in the world. It can grow up 30 ft (9 meters) and weigh up to 550 pounds (227 kg). Aconstrictor, it is non-venomous and kill its prey by coiling itself around their bodies and squeezing them to death. They reach their maximum size on a diet of wild pigs, deer, birds, turtles, capybara, caimans, and even jaguars.
An aquatic snake, the green anaconda lives in swamps, marshes, and slow-moving rivers, mainly in the tropical Amazon rain forests