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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

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October is Green Anaconda Month at the Jacksonville Zoo!

In honor of our 100 year anniversary, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is featuring the Green Anaconda as our adoption special for October. Adopt our Green Anaconda for yourself or as a gift at the special $75 level, and receive two Zoo admission tickets and a cuddly snake plush with your adoption CarePak!

The animal adoption CarePak includes an Honorary Zookeeper certificate, biofacts and a photo of your adopted animal. All proceeds help in the care, feeding and housing of the animal sponsored, and your donation is tax deductible for one year.

Animal Adoption Profile: Green Anaconda

Article by Mammal Keeper LeShea Upchurch

Through the Range of the Jaguar at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, into the Lost Temple, is the exhibit that is home to the green anaconda. Found in Central and South America, the anaconda is the largest snake species by weight in the world, and the second largest species by length. At 170 pounds and 16 feet 3 inches long, our female anaconda is also the largest snake at the Jacksonville Zoo. She is 20 years old and has been on loan to the Zoo from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland since 2004.
Anacondas are well suited to their semi-aquatic lifestyle.  Their eyes and nostrils are at the top of their head, this allows them to see and breathe above the surface as they swim. Anacondas will come on land to bask in the sun, particularly after a meal, as basking aids in their digestion. The Zoo’s anaconda is no exception to this, and while she can be found basking in the heat, her favorite place seems to be in the water. Her keepers will raise the humidity in the exhibit by random misting, which also may illicit more activity from her. Nothing, however, accomplishes this better than during feeding time, when she is generally very motivated to emerge from her pool to feed. This can pose a problem when keepers need to service the exhibit or feed the other animals that are housed with the anaconda. To help prevent her from approaching or striking out at times other than during her feedings, keepers are actually training her to know that it is feeding time when they ring a tuning fork. The vibrations created by the tuning fork serves as a cue that food is coming, and unless she feels the vibrations of that cue, she should not expect to be fed. Anacondas in the wild have been known to consume prey as small as fish or young anacondas, but they have also been documented eating larger prey such as jaguars and crocodiles! The Zoo’s anaconda is fed small prey items.
The Jacksonville Zoo’s anaconda is housed in a mixed-species exhibit with a Brazilian rainbow boa, a freshwater stingray, demonfish, and suckermouth catfish. “The temperament of our anaconda is very good since this species has been known to consume other animals in the exhibit. We are able to display other animals in the same enclosure with her, which really assists in recreating a more natural habitat,” says Senior Herpetology Keeper Brian Eisele.
Anacondas have several threats in the wild. Habitat loss, hunting for their skin, and killing out of fear by villagers are just a few. The young have a high mortality rate due to predation from other animals, including older anacondas. Anacondas are also being hunted for the growing illegal pet trade.
On behalf of the green anaconda, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens thanks you for your support!

Three ways to order:

  • Order online!
    • You can choose to allow your full donation to go to the care and feeding of the animals. If you choose to opt out of receiving thank-you gifts and to receive only a letter of appreciation, simply type ‘- ZOO’ in the order form after the name of the animal you are adopting. Example: ‘Squirrel Monkey - ZOO.’
  • Download an application and mail or fax it in.

  • Call (904) 757-4463, ext. 145 to place an order.

This donation is tax-deductible and is valid for a period of one year. Shipping is standard, USPS mail.  Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is not responsible for any delays in mail once shipped. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing. No ownership rights are conferred with a donation to the program.