“It’s an animal people usually don’t want to know about because they’re scared of it.”
Vishal D., an Aquarium volunteer, doesn’t find it easy to get people talking about his Staff Pick of the Month. December’s pick is the green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), a snake found in the Amazon.
Vishal encourages visitors to think twice about why they might be scared of snakes. He says, “A lot of people just see it as a big, scary snake and move on without knowing all the other cool facts,” like the fact they have adapted to an aquatic lifestyle and use that to their advantage by drowning their prey. While that sounds a bit scary, an animal’s got to eat, doesn’t it?
At the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, the green anacondas are fed rabbits. If you happen to visit during a feed, which happens only once a month, Vishal says, “It’s a truly breathtaking sight.”
Vishal first got interested in the green anaconda because of its size. As one of the largest snakes in the world, it can grow to about nine metres or almost the length of two cars. The females are significantly larger than the males.
Despite their size, the two green anacondas at the Aquarium, one female and one male, are easy to miss in the Graham Amazon Gallery. Their olive skin helps them blend in with the foliage and water.
Written by Karen Glanzberg, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.