Crating up and sending home Fluffy, the largest snake in captivity, as far as anyone knows, proved to be too much effort –and that’s a good thing for the Columbus Zoo. Besides that, the movie Snakes on a Plane has created a we don’t like to put snakes on a plane mentality by shipping companies. The snake was on loan from the guy who raised it. Can you imagine feeding a python from birth to be one whopping snake that people don’t want to take anywhere?
Bob Clark, the former owner, sold the snake to the zoo for $35,000 after a plan to get Fluffy back to his abode in Oklahoma City didn’t work out. Clark originally didn’t want to part with the snake forever. The company who got the snake to the Columbus Zoo early last year and was to get it back home in November has gone out of business and there weren’t any takers when it came to finding a replacement company.
Besides that, the zoo keepers looked at the size of the snake and sighed every time they thought about crating Fluffy up. Not only is he monstrous–imagine 300 pounds, 24-feet long and “girth the size of a watermelon”, he’s been a real boost the the zoo. Fluffy’s presence draws people to the zoo and folks have been pestering the zoo to keep Fluffy anyway. One of my trips to the zoo this past year was to see Fluffy and I’ve mentioned the world’s largest snake as part of the draw. Who needs the world’s tallest building when you have the world’s largest snake in captivity?
Now that the zoo is keeping Fluffy, that will save some redecorating costs. The exhibit can stay as is and not be refigured for some other critter. When I first saw the exhibit, I thought it was permanent. When I heard Fluffy was just on loan, it felt sad to think of the python’s departure.
I bet the folks at the Columbus International Airport are happy as well. On one of the concourse walls there is a life-size photograph of Fluffy, all stretched out advertising the zoo. It’s a great photograph and fits perfectly where it is. [via Columbus Dispatch]