Pregnancy test for anaconda

Visitors to the Emperor Valley Zoo yesterday view the 16-foot anaconda which was found in Caroni recently.

PORT OF SPAIN — The 220-pound female anaconda found on a private road in Caroni on December 30 remains housed at the Emperor Valley Zoo in Port-of-Spain where tests are being conducted to determine whether or not it is pregnant.

The anaconda, which is 17 feet and nine inches long, was discovered near a private road opposite the Caroni Cremation Site. It was captured by security guards at the National Gas Company facility.

President of the Zoological Society of T&T Gupte Lutchmedial said the security guards were patrolling the area when they encountered the snake and restrained it by wrapping a rope around its neck. He said photographs later revealed that the snake was “choked almost to the point of death”.

“We fear that it may have caused damage to the throat because it bled a lot from the throat,” he said.

The security guards later handed the snake over to the zoo. Lutchmedial said the anaconda was under regular medical care and veterinarians at the zoo have recommended that it be kept there for up to a week to allow for further observation.

He said the staff at the zoo attempted to create a wetland environment for the snake by placing turtles, fishes and grass in its cage. When a news team from the T&T Guardian visited the zoo yesterday morning, the large snake remained coiled up underwater in one corner of the glass cage. Lutchmedial said the cage was adjusted to accommodate the size of the snake.

“If we wanted to keep an animal that size, we would certainly want a much larger exhibit and more naturalistic in look… This is just a temporary area that we quarantined,” he said.

He also said the widest region of the anaconda’s body was around 32 inches in circumference. He said considering the width and weight of the snake, many assumed it was pregnant.

He added that the only other reasonable explanation for the snake’s size would be that it was well fed. He said that later that day, a team from the UWI School of Veterinary Medicine would come to the zoo to conduct an ultrasound on the large reptile.

“In the past,” he said, “we have kept some of the baby snakes as specimen and the rest we released back into the natural habitat.” (Guardian)

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