Zoo Buddy: If you see this snake in your yard, don’t kill it!

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 1:23 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - If you find a snake in your yard, give yourself a minute before taking drastic action. Some snakes can actually help you.

The speckled kingsnake is one such snake you’d want to see in your yard. Many people can be scared by snakes, but they have a lot of benefits to the ecosystem of your yard.

“This is Sheba. She’s a speckled kingsnake, also known as a salt and pepper kingsnake,” explains Garrett Cole, a zookeeper at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo. “And you can probably tell why they’re called that from the pattern on her back. Every scale on her back actually has an individual yellow, or sometimes they’ll be white, speck in it.”

Cole says this makes for great camouflage.

He says they’re not venomous and can be found in the southeastern United States “from east Texas all the way to Florida and as far north as Missouri and Oklahoma. Really all over the place.” Cole added, “If you see these snakes, it’s best to completely leave them alone. Like, if you can avoid it at all costs, do not mess with them simply because these snakes are very good to have for the ecosystem. They eat rodents, small birds, they’re great pest control. One of the greatest things about them is they’re immune to the venom of the venomous snakes around here and they actually will eat the other snakes.

Zoobilation is coming up on June 26. It’s a big fundraiser for the zoo. They’ll have games, animal encounters, food trucks, and more.

They’re open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can call them at (318) 329-2400. The train ride, boat ride, and reptile building are all back open too!

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