A green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is the newest arrival at Shedd’s Amazon Rising exhibit and is an impressive sight at 10 feet 7 inches in length. Guests can come face-to-face with the green anaconda, which is considered the one of the largest snakes in the world, during their next visit to the aquarium. The new female anaconda, estimated to be five years old, is anticipated to grow to between 14 and 20 feet.
With the health and well-being of the animals as a top priority, the aquarists have begun a long-term training program to desensitize the anaconda to touch. This is important for any future veterinary care, as well as for gaining an understanding of this anaconda’s natural behaviors and tendencies. Like the other animals at Shedd, the animal care team ensures the anaconda is healthy, eating regularly and acclimating to her new environment.
These snakes are well-adapted to life in their native habitats in northern South America, with their noses and eyes set high on the tops of their heads to help them use these senses while swimming undetected to prey in this often-flooded region. As a member of the boa family, green anacondas are constrictors. Like most snakes, they can detach their jaw to swallow large whole prey items. Their coloring, typically consisting of green, yellow and black spots, helps them blend into the muddy shallow bodies of water they naturally inhabit and in foliage when they take to land. The snakes’ most threatening predators are humans that hunt them for their skin and out of fear or dislike.
This fascinating animal’s presence at Shedd helps inspire guests to make a difference in supporting the health of critical ecosystems such as the Amazon River basin, where habitat destruction can displace these important apex predators. Guests can visit the new anaconda and welcome her to the aquarium at the Amazon Rising exhibit.
VIDEO: See below for a link of a downloadable video of the new green anaconda:
Video Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin