Within a year of bringing two pairs of yellow anacondas, one of the largest species of snakes in the world, from Madras Crocodile Bank, Alipore zoo has added another feather in its cap.
One of the female anacondas has given birth to 11 babies a week ago. State forest minister Rajeev Banerjee announced this on Thursday — also observed globally as the ‘World Snake Day’. “This is a big feat for us. Zoo officials and staff have done a great job by providing the snakes a natural environment inside their enclosure,” he added.
Yellow anacondas are native to the southern parts of south America, belonging to the family of snakes known as the boas (Boidae).
Member secretary of state zoo authority, V K Yadav, said the babies were doing fine. “Four yellow anacondas were brought to the zoo in June 2019. A natural environment was created for them inside the enclosure with water pool, rocks, swamp and vegetation that helped them breed,” Yadav added. Under the exchange programme, the zoo had sent four banded kraits and four monocled cobras to Madras Crocodile Bank and Centre for Herpetology.
“A young yellow anaconda reaches sexual maturity between the age of 17 to 36 months on an average. Unlike most snakes they do not lay eggs but give birth to fully developed live young. Their gestation period is about six months. They may give birth to 10 to 30 live young at a time depending on the age and size of the female. This is a welcome news. The environment provided for them at Alipore zoo is at par with global standards, which not only provides a natural touch to it but also good enrichment for the snakes to live and breed successfully. A proud moment for us to cherish on the occasion of World Snake Day,” said herpetologist Anirban Chaudhuri.
In nature, their breeding season is known to occur between April-May, but it may differ in captivity regionally. The zoo had achieved a new feat in June last year by bringing the species for the first time in its history. The two male and two female snakes are each of five feet in length and are now aged around three and a half years.
Source: Times of India