Seven Anacondas from Dehiwala Zoo would be flown to the Thiruvananthapuram City Zoo in Chennai under an animal exchange program, The Hindu newspaper reported.
The snakes would be flown in as cargo from Sri Lanka to Chennai on April 9 where officials from the Animal Quarantine Centre-Southern Region would inspect them. The health certificate of these snakes was received at the city zoo on April 4, the zoo vet Jacob Alexander told The Hindu.
The Anancondas would set off on the last leg of their journey on April 9 itself in a specially designed truck. “The air-conditioned truck would be completely sealed and would be impervious to any outside influence including that of insects or pests. No effluent would go out from the truck. A team from the zoo, possibly led by the director, would go to Chennai to bring the snakes over,” he explained. The snakes are being brought by road because they would be put through stress, particularly during takeoff and landing, in the smaller aircraft that fly on the Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram route.
Once at Thiruvananthapuram the Anacondas—one male, aged two, and six females, all aged three—would be placed in the quarantine cages that have been readied; this would last at least a month. Later, they would be put on display. Zoo officials said they believed the snakes were captive bred in Sri Lanka had adapted to hot and humid weather and that they would not have any acclimatisation issues in Chennai.
The zoo is yet to ready the display cages for the anacondas. Once it receives governmental sanction, the zoo will also ink a ‘twinning pact’ with the Dehiwala zoo for an animal keeper exchange and training programme. The Sri Lankan zoo is also looking to re-populate itself with animals such as the Indian Gaur.