Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta
Appearance: Black rat snakes can reach eight feet in length. They have slender bodies, are non-venomous, and can subdue their prey via constriction. As adults, they are primarily black except for a small amount of white between their scales and on their chin and throat. Their average lifespan in the wild is 10 to 15 years; however under human care, a black rat snake can live more than 20 years.
Range: Black rat snakes can be found throughout the east coast from southern Vermont to Florida. They can be found in hard-wood forests, swamps, timbered upland, farmland, barns, and old fields. They are most active during the day, but still prefer to stay nearby protective cover. Black rat snakes hibernate in the winter, often with other snakes such as the venomous rattlesnake or copperhead.
Diet: Black rat snakes are excellent for pest control, preying mostly on rodents. Black rat snakes are great climbers, which helps them ascend rafters and trees to prey on mice and even bird eggs and squirrels.
Date of Birth: 2011
Birch was brought into the Nature Center as a young snake in May 2012. He is 6’3 in length and enjoys eating mice and following scent trails!
Date of Birth: 1996-1998 est.
Big is the oldest snake at the WNC Nature Center. Due to his age, one of his favorite pastimes is napping!
Date of Birth: unknown
Fussy is a very active snake. She enjoys climbing and snacking on quail chicks!
Date of Birth: June 2011
Reg is a huge fan of snacking and loves to eat whatever her keeper gives her!
Date of Birth: 2007-2009 est.
Lucius is leucistic, which means he produces no pigment and is all white with blue eyes. Even though he’s 6′ long, he loves to squeeze into caves and small areas!