Hello from the Wildlife Center!
Time Marches on through March! And we’re happy to report sunny days and fresh rain around the Wildlife Center. Warmer weather means we’ve been able to provide more natural enrichment for our ambassador animals, taking some springtime walkabouts with our owls, or giving our reptiles an opportunity to explore and bask in the sun.
For instance, this curious critter always enjoys a change of scenery and a little sunbathing! Meet Ella, our resident Eastern Corn Snake. Ella has been a part of Chewonki’s Traveling Natural History Program since 2006, when she hatched in the care of a Chewonki Maine Coast Semester (MCS) Alumnus, and was donated to the Wildlife Center shortly after. Corn Snakes live an average of just 6-8 years in the wild, but they can live much longer in captivity without the environmental hazards like predators or food scarcity. We appreciate all the years we have with Ella, and strive to provide the best quality of life for her and all the rest of our resident wildlife.
Corn Snakes like Ella are not found naturally in the wilds of Maine, but they make calm and colorful ambassadors for introducing students to the world of reptiles.
Because they are cold-blooded, reptiles like Ella get warm on a chilly spring day by basking in the sunlight, especially on surfaces that will absorb and radiate heat, like dark-barked logs and rocks.
There are at least nine species of snakes native to Maine, and best of all, none of them are venomous in a way that would be harmful to humans! If you’re hiking around Maine, I hope you keep a kind and curious eye out for these scaly sun-bathers.