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Displaying items by tag: garter snake
Friday, 24 July 2020 13:01

"Are they poisonous?"

We are lucky to have a resident snake as an animal ambassador at all three branches of the Urban Ecology Center: Neile the black rat snake at Riverside Park, Andre the bull snake at Washington Park, and Sara the bull snake at Menomonee Valley. These snakes have the job of giving our visitors and students an up close look at a greatly misunderstood animal.

One of the most common questions people ask when they are meeting our snakes is: “are they poisonous?” The answer is no, they are not. But also, that question is not necessarily asking what you think it is asking. Because very few snakes in the world are actually, by definition, poisonous.

Wednesday, 03 July 2019 16:37

The Nuts and Bolts of Snake Research

Snakes get a bad rap. For many of us, it is instinctual to feel a sense of imminent danger when these critters are near. As many of you may know, snakes are reptiles. Herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) stems from the Greek word ‘herpton’ which literally refers to things that creep and crawl. The first time I held a snake was in high school. At the time, I was intimidated to touch a scaly Red-tailed Boa in front of me—as were many of my fellow classmates (crouching on chairs with hesitant and fearful glances). Despite all that, I slowly reached out my hand and was met with smooth overlapping scales and a small flickering forked tongue. From then on I was in awe of these critters and became passionate about snake conservation efforts.

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