LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Zoo said goodbye to one of its popular residents on Tuesday.
Monty, the zoo's 38-year-old Burmese python was euthanized because of his decreasing quality of life.
A news release from the zoo said Monty had been not eating well, had been losing weight and was diagnosed with lymphoma, an immune system cancer. The zoo's veterinary and HerpAquarium teams decided it was time to euthanize Monty.
"These decisions are never made lightly," Dr. Zoli Gyimesi, one of the zoo's veterinarians, said. "Our goal is to provide high quality care, and that extends to making tough end-of-life decisions when welfare is compromised and the prognosis is poor."
Monty was awarded an honorable mention in the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association's Kentucky Animal Hall of Fame in 2006. The Hall of Fame honors and acknowledges exceptional animals.
"Monty was a great ambassador for his species," Bill McMahan said. McMahan is the curator of ectotherms and supervisor of the HerpAquariums where Monty lived. "For years we would take him to radio and TV stations with his impressive 13.5 foot length; he became a favorite of zoo guests."
Burmese pythons are the world's sixth-longest snakes. They typically get as long as 15 feet, but can exceed lengths of 18 and 19 feet. This species can be found in Asia but in the last two decades have inhabited the Florida Everglades as an invasive species. Their life in the wild can span between 25 and 30 years.