By Stephen Sorace
Published July 16, 2019
The 6-year-old snake, named Ginormica, is a popular attraction at the Emerald Coast Zoo in Crestview and could live nearly 70 more years, zoo co-owner Rick de Ridder told the Northwest Florida Daily News.
“She’s probably the longest snake in Florida,” said de Ridder, who believes the snake can reach the world-record length of 25 feet in a couple of years.
The record for longest snake living in captivity is held by a 25-foot, 2-inch reticulated python named Medusa, who is owned by Full Moon Productions Inc. in Kansas City, Mo., according to the Guinness World Records website.
Reticulated pythons are known as the world’s longest snake, growing up to 31.5 feet long, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The species is native to Southeast Asia and is non-venomous. A python is a constrictor and kills its prey by coiling around it and squeezing.
De Ridder, who the late Steve Irwin nicknamed “Rick the Reptile Guy,” told the Daily News that Ginormica’s diet consists of frozen or thawed goats and pigs.
“We feed her 20- to 30-pound animals every two weeks,” he said. “A snake this size, you would never want to teach 'em how to kill anything.”
Ginormica will be featured at the zoo on Saturday for National Reptile Day.