Anaconda dies from bleeding

The 10-year-old anaconda which went under an operation to remove a large tumor from near its heart has died, 72 hours after the operation.

Ai Khiew, the 62kg snake operated at Klongluang Animal Hospital in Pathumthani Province died on August 24 of bleeding from the main artery which was close to the tumor which was removed, said Dr Taweesak Anansiriwattana, the veterinarian who conducted the operation.

Dr Taweesak posted on his Facebook page yesterday telling the reason why the death of Ai Khiew was just exposed despite the fact it died on Wednesday, 72 hours after the operation on Monday.

He said as the operation of the anaconda went viral on the social world, sparking criticism of whether the animal was imported through legal channel or smuggling, and notably prompting investigation by national park authorities, any immediate disclosure of its death amid widespread speculation could cast more doubts on whether the death was true or just a plot to avoid the probe.

He said there was no hidden interest in the cover-up of its death but instead all relevant parties as well as its owner were kept informed of everything.

He chose to expose the death yesterday after it was an appropriate time and legal issues have been cleared.

The snake was anaesthetised for the seven-hour operation at Klongluang Animal Hospital had to cut through the skin and abdominal cavity wall in order to reach the tumor, which weighed 1kg.

Tissue samples have been sent for tests to determine if the snake has cancer

Most of the tumor was removed but a small part remains as it was too close to arteries, vets say.

The snake was brought to the hospital by a private owner.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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