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New Snake Has Big Shoes To Fill

Media Alert: Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2010

CONTACT:                                                
Patty Peters                                                       
Vice President Community Relations

Powell, OH – The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has a new reticulated python that has big shoes to fill.  Fluffy’s daughter arrived yesterday and can now be seen in the famous snake’s former habitat in the Asia Quest region of the Zoo. 
 
Snakes do not care for their young so this new snake, hatched in 1998, never knew her gentle giant mother.  At about 200 pounds and 18-feet in length she has a ways to go to measure up to her predecessor.  Fluffy was 300 pounds and 24-feet long and held the title of longest snake by Guinness World Records.  Fluffy came to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 2007 and died on October 15, 2010 due to an apparent tumor on her ovary.  The histopathology on the mass has not been completed.
 
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium staff members were moved by the outpouring of sympathy and support they received from Fluffy’s fans from the central Ohio community and around the world.  When they learned the private breeder who sold Fluffy to the Zoo in 2007 also had her daughter, the decision was made to bring her to the Zoo.  She arrived late yesterday.
 
Within the next few weeks, the Zoo will announce plans for the public to assist with naming the new snake.
 
Columbus Zoo members can see Fluffy’s daughter during a Wildlights preview event on Thursday, November 18.  Wildlights opens to the general public on the evening of Friday, November 19 and continues through January 1, 2011 (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.)
 
Reticulated pythons are non-venomous constrictors found in tropical forests in Southeast Asia.  They are the world’s longest snakes averaging 10-20 feet in length.  The reticulated python skin has a geometric pattern that camouflages the snake protecting it from predators and allowing it to ambush prey.  Feeding mostly on small mammals such as rodents, large snakes may consume wild pigs, deer and primates.  Reticulated pythons are widespread but they are killed for their skin and numbers are dwindling.
 
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Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is open 363 days of the year.  General admission is $12.99 for adults, $7.99 for children ages 2 to 9 and seniors 60+.  Children under 2 and Columbus Zoo members are free.  The Zoo was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.)  For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org