Rajeev the Burmese python, one of the longest-living animal residents at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery has died. BOONSHOFT MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY

Beloved Boonshoft Zoo animal has died

One of the longest-living residents of the museum’s zoo

One of the longest-living animal residents at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Zoo has died. 

Rajeev the Burmese python lived at the museum since 1991 and was popular with visitors. 

“Rajeev was a favorite for many visitors ranging from toddlers to seniors, and he will be missed,” Stephanie Hyklinski, the curator of live animals, said. 

»»RELATED: 5 things you didn’t know you could do at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Rajeev, a member of one of the largest snake species in the world, was 28 years old. The average lifespan for pythons under human care is 20-25 years and 15 years in the wild. He weighed 155 pounds and was almost 16-feet long.

Rajeev the Burmese python, one of the longest-living animal residents at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery has died. BOONSHOFT MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY

The python was named after Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, who today is the President of Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. As a Fairborn High School student, Dr. Venkayya worked at the museum and helped care for the animals. 

»»PHOTOS: 17 images showing why Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is one of the best places in Dayton

 “Rajeev’s latest bout of illness took a lot out of him and he was unable to eat at all,” Hyklinski said. “His condition, which consisted primarily of long-term lack of appetite and weight loss brought on by old age, was simply too much for him, and his quality of life was starting to decline.”

“ After much deliberation with our veterinarians, and multiple efforts to treat him, the decision was made to euthanize him humanely. Pet owners will know that euthanizing a geriatric animal is not an easy decision to make, but our animal care staff felt that his condition would not improve.”

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