Elaphe gutata gutata
Also known as the red rat snake, corn snakes are one of the many species of rat snakes found in the United States. The name “corn snake” can be attributed to the scale pattern on their belly, which resembles Native American corn, and their tendency to frequent corn cribs to eat visiting mice. Like other rat snakes, corn snakes are non-venomous and can subdue their prey by constriction. Corn snakes live in the southeast and as far north as New Jersey and as far west as eastern New Mexico and Colorado, usually in wooded or rocky areas, meadows, along waterways, wood lots, barnyards, and abandoned houses. Corn snakes are long, slender and brightly colored. Corn snake coloration is highly variable and can be affected by the snakes’ age, the region in which they live, and if it was bred for the pet trade; colors range from reds, grays, oranges, blacks, and yellows. Corn snakes are most active at night, but it is also likely to see them in the early even-ing. During the day they can usually be found hiding in leaf litter or under rocks or logs. When disturbed during the day, they sometimes vibrate their tail in dry leafs in an attempt to mimic the sound of a rattle snake and scare away the potential threat. They use their ability to climb trees and rafters in search of prey: mice, rats, birds, bats, and bird eggs. Under human care, the average lifespan of a corn snake is over 10 years, but in the wild, a corn snake would live a considerably shorter life.
Date of Birth: July 2009
Ginger was donated to the Nature Center by a family who kept her as a pet. When the family moved, they needed to find Ginger a new home, so they brought her here in July of 2013. Ginger grew up in the pet trade and has never known life in the wild.
What Makes Ginger Unique? Ginger was donated to the Nature Center by the family of a participant in our teen volunteer program. Her pattern has beautiful red undertones.
Date of Birth: Unknown
Sassafras was used in an education program that was discontinued at another facility, so he was donated to the Nature Center in November of 2015. He was born under human care and was estimated to be five or six years old when he came. Sassafras is now used for various education programs here.
What Makes Sassafras Unique? Sassafras has a unique and beautiful coloring with yellow undertones, and an eye condition that requires regular veterinary care.