Potoroo Palace has farewelled favourite olive python (Liasis olivaceus) Olivia, who died after health problems arose. Specialist veterinary surgeons in Sydney suspect her problems were likely in connection with surgery she had prior to her arrival at Potoroo Palace.
Olivia was brought to the sanctuary by National Parks in 2010 after she was rescued by wildlife carers. A WIRES team had responded to a call out of a huge snake in someone’s garden. When it was discovered she was not a local species, she was confiscated and brought to live at the sanctuary.
Olivia developed a deep bond with founder of Potoroo Palace Alexandra Seddon, who was Olivia’s only handler for the first year.
“She always knew when I was coming to take her out and her skin would shine with rainbows when she was in the sun,” Ms Seddon said when reflecting sadly on Olivia’s early days.
Olivia was such a stand-alone star mainly due to her great size but also because she had such a gentle nature. She was often able to win over the most snake phobic visitors. Fame was gained when she starred in promotional photographs for the award-winning documentary Being Change, the story about Ms Seddon’s life.
When at the vets in Sydney, it was a great and final surprise for staff to discover that she was in fact a ‘he’! (It is not easy to determine a snake’s gender).
Olivia remains very fondly in everyone’s hearts and will continue to be greatly missed.