The Minnesota Zoo, opened in 1978, recently mourned the passing of a creature who had captivated visitors for decades.

For 29 years, you could find, what the Minnesota Zoo says is an "icon", in the nocturnal portion of the Tropics Trail, she was almost 15-feet long and weighted nearly 150 pounds, and it took up to seven Zookeepers to safely move and lift her for health check-ups and routine care.

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Nikita, a Burmese python, came to the Minnesota Zoo in the 1990s, at that point she was only a few feet long and weighted only about 6 pounds, clearly she grew quite a bit in the 29 years of her life, according to the zoo, she was one of the oldest Burmese pythons under human care.

The Minnesota Zoo says that Nikita had some ongoing health issues and had to be "humanely euthanized" back in May.

The Minnesota Zoo
The Minnesota Zoo
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In a press release about her passing, The Minnesota Zoo says, "She was a remarkable ambassador for her species, helping to build understanding of the critical role of snakes in healthy ecosystems around the world".

Found across large areas of Southeast Asia, the Burmese python averages about 16-feet in length, but some have been found as long as 23-feet, and can weight as much as 400 pounds. As of 2012, the United States has banned the importation of Burmese pythons, as they are starting to become a problem as an invasive species in parts of Florida.

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Her presence will surely be missed at the zoo, but her legacy will live on according to the zoo, "With her beauty and size, we are confident Nikita left a big—and lasting—impression on the millions of Zoo guests who visited her over her long life."

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