Please note: Due to our annual wine-tasting event, Uncorked, Franklin Park Zoo will close at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 30. General admission tickets will be sold through 3:30 p.m.

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Red-Tailed Boa

Boa constrictor ortonii

About the Red-Tailed Boa

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Geographic Range:

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Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae
Genus: Boa
Species: constrictor

The red-tailed boa is named for its reddish tail, although it's primarily tan and brown. It's a large snake, growing as long as 10 feet and weighing up to 60 pounds. Since it's a constrictor and not venomous, it feeds by using its powerful coils to tightly constrict its victims, cutting off blood flow to the heart and causing death. The red-tailed boa’s jaw unhinges and stretches, allowing the boa to swallow medium-sized and large prey, after which it doesn't need to eat again for weeks or months.