Appearance: Eastern garter snakes grow between 3 to 4 feet with females tending to be on the larger side. They are named after the pattern on their scales.
Behavior: Eastern garter snakes are ovoviviparous, meaning they give live birth, and can have anywhere between 7 to 80 live young, depending on the size of the female. Eastern garter snakes tend to be solitary creatures but during the winter months, they will hibernate in larger groups in dens called hibernacula. In the wild, they live between 2 to 4 years; in captivity, they live on average 6 to 10 years with and can live up to 20.
Range: Eastern garter snakes are found throughout eastern North America ranging from Quebec in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Diet: Their diet mainly consists of amphibians, slugs, and worms but can include fish, birds, and small mammals.
Date of Birth: Unknown
Gary came to the WNC Nature Center on Feb. 1st, 2012 from a local certified wildlife rehabilator.
What Makes Gary Unique? Gary likes to sometimes squirm around himself. Although it looks like he’s going to twist himself into a knot, he is just going through the motions of garter snake reproduction. In the wild, male garter snakes will congregate and create a mating ball around females.