“Open wide!”

It’s not something we say often to our anacondas … but once a year, we like to assess the health of these massive snakes in an annual physical.

Recently, two of our three adult anacondas had their yearly checkups. Just like all the animals at the Aquarium, these reptiles get excellent medical care from our veterinary staff. While the snakes are on exhibit, it is nearly impossible for vets to assess their health, so having an opportunity to examine them behind the scenes ensures that our animals are healthy and thriving in their exhibit.

The snakes get pulled from the exhibit and examined in our animal health center.

Aquarium staff comfort Anna during her exam.

All the usual vital signs were checked and tests performed: oral and body exams, blood draws, and ultrasounds. While the snakes are not aggressive, they are still very strong and were sedated during the examinations. This reduces the stress on the animals as well as provides an extra measure of safety for both the snakes and our staff.

Marion gets weighed. 34.65 kilograms is about 76 pounds!

The snakes are weighed and measured:

Mari0n

Age: 12 years old

Weight: 76.3 pounds

Length: 13.2 feet

 

Anna

Age: 8 years old

Weight: 57.9 pounds

Length: 10.7 feet

Open wide! Dr. Charlie Innis examines Marion's mouth.
Anna gets an ultrasound. Good news: no surprise parthenogenesis babies!

After the exams, both snakes were taken to a recovery space where they stay overnight until they’re fully awake and recovered from the anesthesia.

Aquarist Tori sits with Anna in the recovery room.

Marion and Anna got a clean bill of health!