The Green Anaconda (Eunectes Murinus Murinus) is actually the largest snake in the world, but since I work in the interior of Kabalebo I know him also as the largest of this area. The most fascinating reptile I have ever met and one that I also respect the most.
Since childhood I have been 'confronted' with this reptile. As I was afraid for this limbless animal I have always observed them from a safe distance, usually with my feet above the ground. Years past by and when I came to work at Kabalebo, I was once again confronted with this enormous snake. It was meant to be otherwise I would have missed a unique opportunity: understanding the Green Anaconda and to overcome my fear.
Green Anaconda's (Eunectes murinus murinus) are born swimmers and they feel like a 'fish' in the water. Anaconda's can reach a length of 8/9 meters and can weigh at least 200 kg. Due to their enormous appearance they are slow on land, but move gracefully in the water. The water is their territory where they await for their prey to arrive.
The Green Anaconda is a nocturnal predator. They are usually found close to swamps, streams, tree branches close to the river or along river banks. Juveniles usually are fallen victim to other predators. This one, 1.5 meters, was attacked by piranha's when it was crossing over the river.
The Green Anaconda is also known as a water boa and in Suriname they are called 'Aboma". It is known as the largest and heaviest snake in the world, but it is only found in South-America.
They prey upon fish, birds, reptiles (Caimans) and mammals (small tapir, deer and capybara). As Anaconda's are known as non venomous boa's, they use their strength to capture their prey. This is done by strangulating and drowning their prey at the same time.
We found this one tangled between some fish nets at the pier. It was completely exhausted so we gave it our helping hand. Their eyes and nose are high on their head, giving them the ability to see and smell out of the water without exposing the rest of their lengthy body.
We spotted this one downstream of the Kabalebo river where it was resting on a log. The tail looks more slender than the rest of the body. When they are on the hunt, they hook their tail on the closest branch/log in the water. The rest of the body is then coiled like a spring, awaiting potential prey to attack.
This huge sample was seen resting close to the river, but it was fully aware of its surroundings. This was possibly between 4.5 - 6 meters long. Sometimes it is unimaginable to know that it can swim and move very fast in the water with such a body mass.
This one was sunbathing on the rocks, it was also a large sample. Even though I saw the Green Anaconda on many occasions in the Zoo or in documentaries, I am still awe-struck whenever I see this 'must see' reptile in its natural habitat.