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Yellow Anaconda Care Sheet

Scientific Facts

Common Name:Yellow Anaconda
Scientific Name:Eunectes notaeus
Life Span:25 years or even longer
Mass / Size:30 kilograms
Length: 2.7 meters or 9 feet
Habitat:Rivers, swamps, and marshes
Country of Origin:Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, West Brazil, Northeast Argentina

Physical Description

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Compared to its close relative, Green Anaconda, the Yellow Anaconda is smaller in terms of size. They are usually 9 feet long, but they can grow up to 12 feet. The female anacondas are usually larger than their male counterparts.  The unique ones are measured at 15 feet.

On average, they weigh around 30 grams, but these measurements can vary depending on the size of the snake. They are a muscular species, but a little more slender compared to the green one.

Like their names, the yellow anacondas have a yellow-colored skin that is filled with black patches or brown spots. Unlike other snakes, their heads are shaped differently as their large eyes, and their large nostrils are located at the top of these body parts. Because of this location, the snake gets the ability to smell and see even if they are hiding under the water.

Conservation Status

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At present, there are no known threats for the endangerment and extinction of these species. They are not included in IUCN’s endangered list.

Even so, in most countries in South America, the trade of yellow anacondas are prohibited and punishable by law. Other countries can be able to acquire them for their zoos and research, but the numbers are very limited.

Life Span

Yellow anacondas live long lives, with them lasting about 15 to 25 years, or even longer, while they are in captivity. While they are in the wild, these yellow snakes can live about 15 years.

Now that you know that their lives can last a long time, you should know that you must fulfill a commitment. You must be prepared to take care of your pet for a very long time.

Availability and Natural Habitat

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These snakes also trace their homes in South America. The yellow anacondas, unlike other snakes, can be found alongside the southern parts of the continent. These snakes are normally found in these countries: Bolivia, Paraguay, and other parts of Northern Argentina and Southwest Brazil.

Usually, the yellow anaconda can be found in the Pantanal region, known as a section of the river along Paraguay. The Pantanal region is considered as a World Heritage Site, and it is estimated to be about 150,000 kilometers wide.

Primarily, yellow anacondas can be found in habitats that are wetter like marshes, swamps, and riverbanks. You can also find them moving slowly in shallow water. Because they spend so much time in the water, they are also called water boas. 

Behavior

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When they are in captivity, yellow anacondas are known to be fierce and aggressive. They have a reputation that they are difficult to tame, and they actually are. But humans should not be scared. When a yellow anaconda feels that they are threatened, they would rather flee the scene instead of attacking humans.

While living in the wild, the yellow anacondas live semi-aquatic lives, and they have evolved as an expert hunter. They prefer hiding submerged underwater so that they can ambush their passing prey. When they attack their prey, the victims usually drown first before getting suffocated.

Yellow anacondas prefer living alone, and they only interact with other snakes whenever they want to start breeding.

Shedding

Unlike other species of snakes, yellow anacondas usually don’t have shedding issues, as they live in high humidity areas. For their shedding schedules, younger anacondas usually shed every few weeks. For the adult ones, they only shed every few months.

If a snake eats more regularly, they would typically shed more compared to a snake that eats less. If you notice your snake having some problems with shedding, take your anaconda and place them in a container filled with water and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. The skin it has shed must come out on its own after the soak. If not, keep on soaking your pet every day. Never attempt to pull the skin off because you might pull off some scales and tear off the skin of your anaconda.

Diet

Young yellow anacondas usually start their lives by eating small chicks and quails, as well as other birds. Eventually, broaden their options to rodents, fishes, birds, and other small mammals. As they grow old, you can fully switch to mice and rats.

For the older anacondas, you can train them to eat frozen and thawed rodents. It may take some time for the anacondas to get used to this, but frozen and thawed prey is the best option and can prevent possible injuries from live prey.

If you can, you should also provide meals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and larger rats for mature adult yellow anacondas.

Eating Habits

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Baby yellow anacondas must be fed once every week. The young ones must be fed every 10 days to 2 weeks. Adult anacondas must be fed once every two to four weeks, depending on how big the meal offered to them was.

Anacondas are very active feeders. As an owner, you should consider that snakes will accept food even though they don’t feel that hungry. Be careful in how much you feed your snake as overfeeding is really a great possibility.

Development and Reproduction

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For breeding to start, a pheromone is being released by a female yellow anaconda that will entice the male anacondas to come near them. When in the wild, multiple males try to attempt to woo a single female and mate with them. This behavior is known as the breeding ball, and it can last for a few weeks.

After one of the male snakes gets declared the winner, the mating occurs. Often, the declared winner is the largest and strongest among the batch.

Female anacondas usually give birth to around 80 babies. They are born alive, and not in the form of eggs. Usually, these babies are around 60 cm in length.

Mating Season

The courtship between male and female yellow anacondas usually happens between April and May of each year. Usually, the mating season occurs in places that are very near water.

Common Health Problems

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These are the most common health concerns that yellow anacondas can encounter in captivity:

Stress

Yellow anacondas can suffer from stress when they are feeling threatened, being handled inappropriately, living in poor conditions, and having no areas to hide in their living space. You can find out if your anaconda is stressed if they don’t like to eat, are losing weight, and exhibits lethargy.

These factors can easily be resolved. You only have to care properly for your snake to beat these problems. You only have to create a proper environment for your pet and observe proper hide areas, water replacement, and temperature in their tank.

External Parasites

Your snake might have mites and ticks, especially when they have come from the wild. To treat ticks, you only have to use some tweezers, making sure you get the mouth and the head of the parasites. Make sure that you also use antiseptic to clean your anaconda’s body after.

In treating mites, you can purchase a special spray or a powder that is specifically meant for mites. You should also treat your pet’s enclosure aside from their body. This does not get resolved in one round of cleaning. You should do your disinfection a few times, to make sure the cleaning is at the best percentage. Should symptoms persist, bring your pet to the vet for a prescription.

Dehydration

One of the signs of dehydration is your anaconda having some trouble with shedding their skin. To help avoid this problem, you should make sure that there is always a bowl of clean drinking water near your pet.

Just like with humans, this serves as the first line of defense for your pet anaconda. Make sure that you also monitor the humidity in the enclosure, as humidity is required for your snake to feel hydrated. If you live in a normally dry city, you should double the attention you spend on this. You can install a humidifier in the enclosure or create a moisture-filled area for your snake.

Dysecdis or Shedding Problems

Shedding is one of the fascinating features of snakes. But, from to time, your snake might experience problems with this. This can happen in the wild and during captivity. You have a few options in helping your pet snake about this. You can provide a moisture box, soak your snake in warm water, mist your snake, and increase the humidity of the anaconda’s enclosure.

If you notice some retained skin, here’s what you should do. Soak the snake by putting it in a moisture box or a damp pillowcase. After a few hours, try to gently pull off as much of the skin as you can. Next, use another damp cloth to rub your anaconda’s body, especially where you see some retained skin.

Internal Parasites

Parasites can also infect your yellow anacondas inside their bodies. These parasites can attack their organs and stay in their bloodstream. Usually, they are in the form of flukes, worms, and nematodes.

To detect this, vets usually use a fecal examination. This is why, as a responsible pet owner, you should make sure that you bring your pet to the vet for a check-up to make sure there are no problems.

Respiratory Diseases

Anacondas can have breathing problems the same way humans do. You might see this manifest through sneezing, open mouth breathing, mucus on their nostrils, and producing a wheezing sound when they breathe.

Your best option against this type of illness is making sure the appropriate temperature is maintained in the living space and that the enclosure is always clean. It can also help if your snake has a basking area that it can go to whenever it needs to feel warm. Whenever they have breathing problems, adjusting the warmth by adding a few degrees might help. For the treatment details, bring your pet yellow anaconda to a trusted veterinarian.

Handling

Are you one of the people who think that yellow anacondas are very defensive? This rumor is slightly true. While they are young, especially when they come from the wild, they tend to be defensive because they are high chances of them to be eaten by predators. As they grow old with repeated handling by their owners, these snakes learn how to be tame.

To handle your snakes, refrain from using snake hooks and just use your hands. Remember to be gentle so that you will stay safe, and you and your snake won’t be stressed.

If you want to attempt handling your snake, you should start while they are young. This allows ample time for training that avoids the owners getting nipped. Though small nips can be done, you must have an understanding that your snake doesn’t want to hurt you; they are just born thinking that they can be hurt by you, therefore being defensive.

When you are handling bigger anacondas, it would be better if there is somebody else aside from you when you want to deal with your anaconda. This allows you to support yourself properly, especially with its bigger size. Having someone else will also help you in case your snake acts too defensively and tries to constrict you.

Caging

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In keeping yellow anacondas, the owners must place them in 6 to 12 quarts sized enclosures if they are still young snakes. Smaller enclosures would greatly help in closely monitoring these snakes, as well as properly helping them adapt to their current environment. For anacondas, glass aquariums are not the best options, because they are not really great for the snake’s humidity and warmth needs.

Larger and older yellow anacondas are better housed in wooden or PVC custom-made enclosures. Make sure that the customized area is well-ventilated so mold growth can be avoided.

For an adult yellow anaconda, the suggested cage size is 8 feet x 4 feet x 4 feet of land area. The more spacious the growing area, the better for your pet, as long as you can match the lighting and humidity requirements for bigger spaces.

For a naturalistic approach, you can opt for plant decorations, including some foliage and some logs.

Substrate

Substrates are important to be installed in the tank of your snake. Some excellent options for younger snakes are Kraft paper. For adults, coco fiber beddings would be a great choice. When you are using loose substrates, the perfect depth would be 3 to 4 inches. This would be sufficient enough for your snake to burrow if it wants to, and it would be easy to spot clean.

The coco fiber for older yellow anacondas can hold humidity extremely well, and they are perfect for absorbing. You should stay away from aspen bedding, cedar shavings, and pine shavings since they are not suited for anacondas.

Hide Box

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Snakes are creatures that would rather stay hidden to make themselves feel safe and secure. As an owner, it is best practice to provide your yellow anaconda one box per end of their living area and let them choose which one they would prefer to use each time.

As they grow larger, you might notice your snake not using them anymore; it might mean the hide box is smaller compared to their size. When this happens, you should upgrade the snake’s hide box and make it a little bigger. Providing the snakes with hiding boxes that are spacious enough would avoid stressing out your pet and give them options to make them feel comfortable.

Lighting 

For lighting, it would be good to know that yellow anacondas prefer natural cycles of day and night. The first requirement to note is that you should install full-spectrum lighting, which will serve as natural lighting for your snake. You will notice your snake basking under this light, and that’s okay. So it won’t be too much and to establish a routine, maintain the schedule of day and night at 12 hours each. If you can, you can also adjust lighting depending on the season.

Temperature

For the temperature, make sure that you achieve 88 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit or 31 to 33 degrees Celsius. On the farther end, make sure that the temperature will only be up to 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 to 27 degrees Celsius. This allows the yellow anaconda to have a cooling area, should they need it.

For younger snakes, having a heating pad for their bellies can be beneficial. But these heat pads require a thermostat to keep temperatures controlled. Without thermostats, heat can rise too much and would be harmful, even fatal, to your snake.

For adults, use some heat panels. Mount heat panels on the ceilings of the living space and allow them heating that would be more natural. You can also look for heat bulbs or ceramic heat emitters, but these would require proper monitoring of humidity.

Humidity

Yellow anacondas require high humidity to survive, which is why regular misting of their enclosures is needed. If you can’t commit to that, having a large water source could be great. The substrate used, which is coco fiber, also plays a great role in humidity maintenance. If it is currently too dry where you are, you can place the water source much closer to the heat source in the enclosure to increase the humidity.

For cage humidity, watch out for the good range, which would be between 60 to 70 percent. If you notice condensation throughout the tank, don’t worry, that is normal. But, make sure that the enclosure is also well-ventilated so that your snake’s home won’t feel too muggy.

Water

Yellow anacondas are semi-aquatic species that require a large enough water source that would be enough for them to submerge in. They enjoy spending most of their time submerged inside, like their counterparts in the wild that live by the rivers.

For responsible pet care, clean your snake’s water source every few days. This will avoid water contamination and pollution, therefore, avoiding health issues. Yellow anacondas would also defecate in the water, so as soon as you some feces, clean them out immediately.

Cleaning

The regular cleaning and maintenance of your pet yellow anaconda will be dependent on their urination and defecation schedules. Usually, this happens once a week. So, your cleaning schedule would also be usually once a week to avoid forms of contamination.

On substrates, practice spot cleaning them regularly. Fully replace the substrates every few weeks, as well as a complete general cleaning of the entire enclosure.

Fun Facts about Yellow Anaconda

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  1. Yellow anacondas are considered as a non-venomous type of snake. They kill their prey by constriction and not by biting them.
  2. Yellow anacondas have no subspecies that are recognized by scientists. They are just also called as Paraguayan anacondas, water boas, and Sucuri Amarela.
  3. Some individual yellow anacondas can weigh as much as 40 to 55 kilograms or 88 to 121 pounds.
  4. These snakes also have their own predators. They can be killed by raccoons, caimans, caracara, foxes, and tegu lizards.
  5. Though they are smaller than green anacondas, they are still quite big at an average of 4.5 meters long.
  6. Yellow anacondas have slow metabolisms, which means that they can survive months without eating after they have had a big meal.
  7. When a yellow anaconda plans to eat its prey, stretchy ligaments in their mouths allow them to open their mouths wide enough to swallow their food whole.
  8. Anacondas are ovoviviparous, which means that they give birth to live young.
  9. Yellow anacondas in the wild hide under caves during periods of drought.
  10. Yellow anacondas are part of the snake family called Boidae. Some close relatives are green anacondas, pythons, and boas.

Where Can You Get a Pet Yellow Anaconda?


Yellow anacondas that you can have as pets can be bought from exotic reptile shops and reputable snake breeders. Before you buy a snake, try handling it first before you buy it. Doing this will make sure that you will have an idea about the pet personality of the one that you will take home.

How to Care for a Pet Yellow Anaconda?

The yellow anacondas are regarded as pets that are meant only for advanced and experienced pet keepers. Their large sizes and unpredictable behaviors can be quite hard for beginner snake keepers. You won’t know if your snake will develop an aggressive attitude, and it might be too much for a novice.

If you are a beginner, start with pet-friendly snakes, and go with yellow anacondas once you have gained the right experience. But, if you are experienced and feel like you are ready, start with a young one so that you and the snake can get to know each other well and build a great relationship.

FAQ Section

Are yellow anacondas dangerous?

Yellow anacondas are not usually dangerous because humans are not really included in their list of prey. They will only hurt people in defense, meaning, if they get threatened first.

How big do male yellow anacondas get?

Male yellow anacondas usually grow around 10.8 feet up to 14.4 feet in length. The females are bigger than them.

Where do yellow anacondas live?

Yellow anacondas live in rivers, marshes, and swamps in Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia.

How many babies do yellow anacondas have?

Yellow anacondas give birth to live young, which count can range from 7 to 80 hatchlings.

How deadly can yellow anacondas be?

Though yellow anacondas have teeth, their bites do not contain venom and are not fatal. 

Do yellow anacondas eat jaguars?

Yellow anacondas can eat whatever animals they encounter, especially when they are hungry. They are known to attack larger animals like alligators, and that list can include jaguars.

What are the enemies of the yellow anaconda?

Yellow anaconda hatchlings can be threatened, beaten, and killed by tegu lizards, foxes, and caracaras. Large adult ones have many enemies, almost all mammals, fishes, and other reptiles that come their way.

What do you feed a pet yellow anaconda?

Anacondas in captivity can be fed hamsters, rabbits, birds, and mice. The most common option is mice.

Are yellow anacondas poisonous?

No, the yellow anacondas, like their green counterparts, are not equipped with venom or poison.

Are yellow anacondas good pets?

Yellow anacondas can be calm pets and great companions, as long as you are committed to training and disciplining them while they are still young.

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