A large, 27-year-old python -- despite showing no signs of illness -- has died at the Abilene Zoo.
From city of Abilene spokeswoman Callie Harris:
The Abilene Zoo is mourning the loss of their 16-foot 7-inch reticulated python that died on Monday. The 27-year-old female python had shown no signs of illness as staff completed minor renovations to her exhibit.
?When an animal dies at the zoo, it?s very tough on the staff that care for these animals,? Zoo Director Bill Gersonde said. ?While we know they aren?t our pets, we develop a special relationship with our animals as we work with them five days a week. There?s a special attachment, even to snakes.?
A necropsy, or animal autopsy, was conducted but there was no definitive cause of death identified. Tissue samples have been submitted for a histopathology report. It will take several weeks before the zoo receives this final report.
Native to Southeast Asia, this python was hatched at the Sedgwick County Zoo in 1985 and came to the Abilene Zoo in 2007. Life expectancy of captive pythons is 25 to 30 years of age. The reticulated python is the world?s longest snake and reptile. The zoo has not confirmed if they will be replacing this python.