Anaconda gives birth to 20 babies in Sri Lanka’s zoo

July 14th, 2008 - 2:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, July 14 (IANS) A green anaconda mum, which was brought to Sri Lanka some five years ago with her partner, has given birth to 20 baby anacondas in a Sri Lankan zoological garden, officials said. According to director of the Dehiwela National Zoological Gardens Duminda Jayaratne, the mother anaconda had given birth to 23 baby anacondas Friday and of them 20 had survived.

“Both the mother and the baby anacondas are in good health,” Jayaratne told IANS on phone.

The 24-acre Dehiwela zoological garden is located about 12 km south of Colombo city. It houses nearly 350 species of animals, birds and reptiles.

Jayaratne said media personnel would be allowed to film and take photographs of the babies and the parents at a media conference Wednesday as they were currently under the supervision of the veterinary surgeons.

A veterinary surgeon in the Central Nuwara-Eliya district said it was a rare occurrence for anacondas, the largest reptile in the world, to give birth while in captivity that even in a relatively unfamiliar territory.

“Probably the tropical and humid conditions in Sri Lanka would have suited them to produce healthy babies,” said A. Nanadakumar, a doctor.

Anaconda is a type of python largely found in South American jungles and shallow waters. Fairly a large number of relatively smaller versions of pythons are found in Sri Lanka also, mainly in the central hills and thick jungles.

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