'Annie' the anaconda sets Guinness World Record as the oldest living snake in captivity
A 37-year-old anaconda named name has been officially declared the oldest living snake in captivity by Guinness World Records.
The snake weighs more than 40 kgs and is more than 4 metres long. According to her keepers, she eats one huge rabbit every two weeks.
Annie, as she is called, is currently at the Monte Casino Bird and Reptile Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. Before that, she was raised in Vryheid by her former owner Paul Swires from 1989 to 2004.
In an interview with News24, Swires said he applied to have the snake recognized by the record-keeping organization as the oldest living snake. "I have always had a fascination with snakes, since the age of 13. I've collected many exotic snakes in my lifetime, so Annie the anaconda was just another one for my collection," Swires told News24.
He added that Annie lived in a separate enclosure and also had a heated pond.
Annie was transferred to the Montecasino Bird and Reptile Park in 2004. Unfortunately, she has never had any babies in her lifetime.
Swires, who immigrated to New Zealand in 2012m said that Guinness did not have a category for 'oldest snake living in captivity.' But they had no problems in creating a new one for Annie.
"There was an unbelievable amount of evidence required, in the form of photographs, media articles, along with witness and vet statements from many people who have worked with Annie over the years," said Swires.
He last paid Annie a visit in 2017 at the reptile park. According to Swires, the reptile failed to remember him.
"It's fantastic news! Knowing the kind-natured temperament of Annie and my long history with her. The fact that she's finally made it to the Guinness book of world records is awesome," Swires said.