Milwaukee County Zoo Welcomes Olive The Green Anaconda

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Milwaukee County Zoo Welcomes Olive The Green Anaconda

Olive is 15.2 feet long and was born 21 years ago.

A green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) that previously lived at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, WI has been moved to the Milwaukee County Zoo, after the

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A green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) that previously lived at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, WI has been moved to the Milwaukee County Zoo, after the death of Mo, the zoo’s 25-year-old anaconda who was euthanized after suffering from medical issues. The anaconda, named Olive, is 15.2 feet in length and weighs just 120 lbs. She previously lived with another anaconda at the Henry Vilas Zoo but staff realized the two snakes didn’t have enough space to “express their natural behaviors.”


Olive, who is currently in quarantine, was born at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium 21 years ago with 28 siblings. She came to the Milwaukee County Zoo October 26. And because of her large size, she is spending her quarantine time in her enclosure. Three zookeepers are required to be present when they are working with the large, constricting snake. She is currently fed one frozen thawed rabbit each month as she is on a diet.

Green Anaconda

The green anaconda grows to about 15 feet in length. Photo by Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock

The zoo’s previous anaconda shared the enclosure with a red-tailed boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), but it was moved out of the enclosure to make way for Olive. The boa may share the enclosure with the anaconda if it is determined that Olive doesn’t see the boa as a potential prey item, the zoo said in a news release.

Guests can have a chance to see Olive at the zoo’s Aquatic & Reptile Center.

How Long Do Green Anacondas Get?

Green anacondas are large, heavy-bodied snakes that can grow to about 15 feet give or take a few feet. This snake is probably the most widely mythologized of the large constrictors due in part to old television shows and movies that depicted them as massive, monstrous reptiles that devour anything that moves. They have been reported to be, erroneously, the largest snakes in the world. They aren’t. In the Americas, they are, unless you count the invasive Burmese pythons of the Florida Everglades.


Keeping The Green Anaconda

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The green anaconda is found in the Amazon rainforests and adjacent bodies of water in South America in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad Island, and into northern Paraguay. They inhabit swamps, marshes, streams and other slow moving and still bodies of water. A unique aspect of this snake is the fact that their eyes and nasal openings are located on the top of their head. This enables them to lie and wait for their prey while the rest of their body is submerged under water. The feed on a variety of prey items in the wild, including tapirs, deer, peccaries, capybaras, and caimans when fully grown, and small birds and juvenile caimans when they are young.

The green anaconda is a moderately popular snake among expert reptile keepers. They are also a restricted species in many states in which they are permitted to be kept. Because of their very large size, this snake is for expert keepers only.


The green anaconda is also known as the common anaconda, common water boa and giant emerald anaconda. It is one of the heaviest snake species and also one of the longest. There are no subspecies of this snake, though there is the yellow anaconda, its closest relative. There are reports of this species reaching 35 to 40 feet in length, but there is zero evidence that such snake existed, either in a museum or via any evidence. A Hollywood movie about the green anaconda was released in 1997 with an all star cast. It grossed $136 million at the box office and cost $45 million to make and market.