Wildlife Wednesday 07/10/2024

It’ssssssss #WildlifeWednesday and we are highlighting one of our resident animal ambassadors, Zea the corn snake!

The corn snake is a type of rat snake found in North America, mostly in the central and southeastern United States. It is not venomous, and kills its prey instead by constriction (squeezing). It is a beneficial animal to humans as it keeps populations of wild rodents in check, particularly near agricultural land and crops.

There are two origins of the name “corn snake.” One says the name comes from the tendency of the snake to live near stores of grain and maize, where it hunts rats and mice. The other suggests that the name comes from the distinctive checkered scales on the belly, which resemble variegated kernels of corn.

The lifespan for wild corn snakes is 6-8 years, but in captivity they can live to well over 20. Zea is 11 years old.

Zea’s tank at the Wilderness Center has a climbing wall she frequently uses for exercise. Her tank also has proper lighting, heat bulbs, soaking tubs, and hiding areas to keep her healthy. Corn snakes are popular to keep in captivity for educational purposes and as pets due to the ease of their care, calm temperament, and tolerance for being handled. 

Zea is a curious snake and enjoys supervised time exploring outdoors, going to outreach events and programs, and eating her meals of thawed mice.

Join us next week on July 16, World Snake Day, for a special free presentation featuring Zea!

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