June 7, 2022
The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is mourning the loss of its green anaconda, Babalou, who passed away overnight, September 4-5, 2022. Babalou was estimated to be at least 30 years old.
“Babs”, as she was lovingly called, came to the GSC in November of 1993. “For those that worked with her and those that visited her,” said Sarah Halbrend, Aquatics Curator, “Babalou will leave a snake-sized hole in all our hearts.”
The average lifespan of a green anaconda in the wild is about 10 years. However, they live much longer in human care, with some reports of anacondas averaging 20-30 years old. A necropsy (animal autopsy) was performed yesterday morning to determine any obvious cause of death. Initial results showed potentially cancerous masses associated with the GI tract with infiltration into lung, kidney, and uterus.
GSC VP of Veterinary Health, Dr. Sam Young, DVM, believes the masses to be sarcomatoid neoplasm. However, this will have to be confirmed with histopathology. It will be several weeks before the GSC receives final histological results from tissue samples. Dr. Sam says, “Babalou was well past life expectancy and at that advanced age, the body is not as good at repairing itself and removing abnormal cells. This is why we see a higher likelihood for cancer in older animals.”
The GSC team is grateful for the public’s compassion and understanding during this difficult time.