Saturday, 30 October 2010

Fluffy the world's longest snake dies

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium said the reticulated python passed away on Tuesday night due to an apparent tumour.

Fluffy, who weighed 140kg (300lb), became a huge tourist attraction at the zoo after being officially named the longest snake in captivity by Guinness World Records.

The python originally arrived at the zoo in 2007 on loan but after becoming a favourite among visitors and staff was given a permanent home.

She was as long as a van and as thick as a telephone pole.

'When Zoo visitors saw Fluffy they experienced many emotions such as awe, curiosity and even fear,' Zoo president and CEO Dale Schmidt said.

'Everyone was moved by her presence and she created the connection for them to learn more, and care more, about misunderstood animals such as snakes.'

Preliminary findings of a necropsy (animal autopsy) performed by the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine revealed a ‘mass’ on her ovary.

Reticulated pythons are non-venomous constrictors found in tropical forests in Southeast Asia.

Their skin has a geometric pattern that camouflages the snake protecting it from predators and allowing it to ambush prey

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