GEOGRAPHY The green anaconda inhabits areas with nearby water sources swamps, rivers, etc. in South America. Trinidad, Bolivia, Peru, N.paraguya, marajo island, Brazil, Columbia,Venezuela, Guyana and Ecuador. The areas inhabited by these boids sometimes dry out in the dry season and they can be found in any area of free standing water.Some need to be saved from dried up rivers and moved to more suitable areas until the rainy season returns.The animals are measured and then taken to a water tributary and then returned during the rainy season. Many governments in South America sponser these round ups and the number of large specimens found during these periods are becoming more scarce every year.
SIZE Well this may be the largest snake on earth.The other rival being the reticulated python.However in total body mass this snake wins out.Typically average sizes for green anacondas are from 12-20 feet.However it is not unusual to see specimens exceed 20 feet in length.These animals may weigh over 300 pounds!A true giant snake!
CARE Well again this is a giant that does not need special requirements to keep in captivity.A temperature in the low 80s with a basking spot in the high 80s are necessary.A basking spot should be provided at all times! This snake seems to have problems when kept to aquatic and need to have a basking spot or direct sunlight to dry them off.I had a pair of anacondas die from blister disease. Although they were fresh imports which added to their stress I can only attribute this from layin in the water container too much.That was my first attempt at keeping greens a long time ago. I have since noticed that they are not all that aquatic. Specimens who lie in their water continuosly should have a dry basking site and they should be deprived of their water for 2 or three days at a time to prevent any problems. Likewise they should have CLEAN enclosures. Dirty enclosures will also lead to bacteria problems on their skin. Their skin does seem to be a little more sensitive to these problems than other boas and one may ask how they live in such swampy homes in the wild with no problem.But remember anacondas bask often in the wild found on fallen tree logs and on river banks and the sun is a natural disinfectant and can disinfect the snakes skin does that make sense? So the enclosure should be kept dry warm and it should have adequate ventilation. With these conditions greens thrive well! They require huge enclosures as adults and should not be kept if you can not afford or aquire such elaborate enclosures. A minimum large adult enclosure would be 8' long 4' wide and 2'high.It should be very sturdy escape proof and easy to clean.It should be able to hold a three hundred pound animal.Juveniles can be kept in plastic shoe and sweater boxes but again be extremely careful to keep the enclosures meticulously clean as these can really become humid and dirty and will definately cause problems for young if kept dirty and moist like that.I am always shocked at how many people ask me for these not realizing how big they get.They are far too much as adults for three people to handle and should only be kept by dedicated keepers who intend on keeping the animals longer than when they reach 10'!They of course should have large water containers.They frequently release their bowels in the water and it should be kept clean at all times.Imported animals are usually nasty and will not hesitate to bite a perceived threat to them.They have extremly sharp teeth and can go through flesh like a knife through butter. My friend was bitten not me thank goodness and it sounded like paper tearing as the snake ripped the flesh.Do not be fooled and think these snakes are slow moving!They are one of the fastest striking and moving snakes I have seen and can strike sideways elusively and very fast and may catch you offgaurd!I was almost nailed in the face by one!I held a rat on long forceps at feeding time and opened the lid to the 6' male enclosure.Finding him in the water bowl ,I only had the lid open for a second and admitedly had my face a little to close and the strike came without warning!All I saw was black!The inside lining of the mouth!I could count the teeth as he came within what must have been a centimeter from my face!I am so happy I was far enough away that he could not reach my nose but it just goes to show they are fast and can strike long and sideways at rapid speed!He did get his rat though on the second strike!I have also noticed that these snakes only strike when provoked.I have had imports that would lie still even when standing over them or viewing them through the enclosure it is when they are touched or moved that the strikes usually happen.It is advised to use hooks for handling imports but be warned that these snakes are fast and you may end up chasing the snake after it jumps off of the hook.Such specimens usually only get used to hook handling and will never become trustworthy as adults.However if the snake is young it may be raised to tolerate handling.Captive born specimens can be raised to be lovely animals to handle being as tame as any burmese and are intelligent and personable!Also beware of the musk!I have been musked by many snakes and let me tell you the stinkiest has to be the anaconda!When you grab the snake and it is aggitated you will notice a smell beyond smells many of your helpers will run out of the room gasping for air saying oh gosh I think I am going to throw up while you are helplessely wrapped around the arms and smelling every bit and then some of what they smelled except you cant run!So I know some of you are laughing because its happened to you and heaven knows what I just wrote happened to me!This smell typically take 2 days to wear off even after every attempt at washing hands with soap gasoline tomato juice whatever!Its definately a stink bomb that could make you rich in gag world if you could duplicate it!Substrate should just be newspaper trust me go with this as they can sure make a cage dirty!Smaller specimens can be kept on mulch and sterilized bark chips however do not feed them on this as they may become impacted if ingested.These animals in my experience are more likely to spend their time in the hide box rather than the water container.Imports and juvies should have access to a tight dark hide box that they will spend much time in only coming out after the lights are turned out.Imports may have to be fed at night as they feed more readily at least as fresh imports at this time.I have not noticed imports to take anything else but rats however some may prefer chicks and others bless them may only prefer fish!Some babies will take fish regularly as a prefered food source eating nothing else.If this is the case a small mouse of appropriate size should be stuck in the snakes mouse while feeding on the fish so that it eats the mouse along with the fish,This should be done carefully,fish are not a good food source and be carefull of feeding them fish from the pet store because of the disinfecting chemicals used to keep feeder fish alive.Most pet stores at least specialty ones will have feeder fish available that have no chemicals added to the water ask for these.Again this snake is large and powerful and should only be handled as an adult with SEVERAL people helping.
FEEDING Juveniles again may prefer fish but more commonly will take mice as a first food.They should be fed every three days until about four or five feet in length and then they can be tappered off to once a week on appropriate sized rats.Adults will require a lot of food 2 or 4 large rabbits every ten days.They may become obese in captivity because of their willingness to feed so be careful not to overdue it.They usually will take as much as you give them!
BREEDING These snakes are now being bred in captivity more frequently.Be advised that these snakes are susceptible to respiratory problems and colds when temps are dropped to low.Therefore night time temps should not be dropped below 72 and always have a warm up during cycling.Drop the day light from 12 hours to 8 hours,and lower night temps to around 72- 75.Breeding may occur in water but is not necessary for copulation.Gravid females should be given a basking site of 90 degrees.At these temps you should expect babies in five months.Typical gestation time is 5 -6 months.Birth may take place in the water,and females have been known to eat stillborn and infertile ova.Typical clutch size is between 10 and 18 however 20 or 30 babies may be given by larger females.Females may feed throughout much of the gestation and should not be fed heavily toward the middle and end of the expected birth.Juveniles usually feed on pre killed mice however you may need to feed at night like the imports.Leave a pre killed mouse at the door of the hide box and leave over night.Some juvies may prefer live pinks or fish,and they should be tried if pre killed does not work.They usually do not feed before their first shed which will occur between 40 and 80 days so be patient!They are usually between 18 and 24 inches in length however 30 or 36 inch babies may come from large females.They are usually very nasty however tame down with handling and become very tame.
INDEX-ADULT SIZE-Do I have a zero? Guess not 1. HANDLING-1
NOTES O.k. obviously a bad score on size I had to give a 1 on handling also while they can be tame no one can hold these animals without taking several precautions before hand and having a lot of strong men to help not only lift the animal but control it also. Feeding is a four because these guys can chow down! Temperament ranges from a 1 for wild caughts to a four because captive raised animals can be very sweet.
***ONE LAST NOTE***While these snakes are large and very impressive in size it is not suitable as a pet snake.These should be left in the wild where they are at home in huge bodies of water.Please leave the keeping of these giants to zoos meuseums and specialized collectors who can do justice to the snakes special needs and vivarium size.Kept in a truly gargantuan enclosure with several gallons of water as a pool these animals are a sight to behold.Not in someones small enclosure.Please not every animal was meant to be domesticated!