Odie, a 27-year-old snake who has been at the zoo since 1990, suffered from severe spinal disease.
He appeared healthy two weeks ago when he was brought out to soak in the sun but head vet Karen Wolf said the python wasn’t eating and was clearly in pain. It’s unknown how the spinal break occurred.
Odie’s size – 102 pounds and 12 feet 2 inches – awed young children who visited him in the Discovery Hut exhibit. It took four people to safely handle Odie when he was brought out of his exhibit to enjoy the sunshine.
A necropsy was performed Tuesday and major abnormalities in his bone structure were found. Tissue and blood samples have been sent for testing to learn more about the python’s disease.
The Burmese python’s lifespan is 25-30 years.
Odie was the only python at Point Defiance and officials said there are no plans to acquire another.