Bidding farewell to Fantasia

The Brooklyn Paper
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What a long, slithering trip it’s been.

Fantasia, the beloved and majestic albino Burmese python who captivated visitors to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for more than a decade, died at her new home in the Staten Island Zoo on May 13. She was 20 years old.

“All of us at Brooklyn Children’s Museum are heartbroken,” said museum president Mindy Duitz. “She was such an important part of the Museum’s educational programs for children and loved by so many of our visitors.”

Fantasia arrived at the field-trip destination in 2000 and quickly crawled her way into the hearts of young visitors, who she thrilled and chilled during petting sessions and, on at least one birthday, a feast on a recently dead rabbit.

She was more than 20 feet long and weighed more than 300 pounds at the time of her death, making her the largest legless reptile in New York City.

Keepers moved the spellbinding boa from the museum to the menagerie across the Verrazano Bridge back in February in order to give her more space to uncoil and handlers say she quickly became a favorite at her new home.

“Fantasia had become a very popular attraction here at the zoo from her first day,” said a Staten Island Zoo spokesman.

The rep also said the revered reptile did not suffer before her death, which experts blamed on her old age.

“We were happy to have her in her final years, and it was an important opportunity to collaborate with the Brooklyn Children’s Museum,” the spokesman said.

For legions of Fantasia fans, in Brooklyn and on Staten Island, her last coil came too soon.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
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