Phoenix Zoo Welcomes Threatened Gartersnakes

The Phoenix Zoo welcomed 18 narrow-headed gartersnakes on July 2, 2014 – the first of their species ever born at the zoo and the result of five years of breeding attempts. The births come at a critical time: just five days later, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the species, native to Arizona and New Mexico, as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. The majority of the snakes will be released into the wild after six to nine months, while a few will be kept at the zoo as part of the breeding program.

Read more about these snakes and other conservation efforts on the Phoenix Zoo blog.

The new arrivals were born just in time for World Snake Day, which is celebrated on July 16th. In the spirit of the day, enjoy a selection of photos from around the AZA community.

Newly-born Narrow-headed Gartersnakes (Photo: Phoenix Zoo's Facebook page)

Narrow-headed gartersnakes, July 2014 (Photo: Phoenix Zoo’s Facebook page)

Arizona Diamondback (photo: Zoo Atlanta's Facebook page)

Arizona diamondback (Photo: Zoo Atlanta’s Facebook page)

baby ocellate mountain viper heads (photo: Saint Luis Zoo's Facebook page)

Baby ocellate mountain vipers, born August 2013 at the St. Louis Zoo(Photo: Saint Louis Zoo’s Facebook page)

13.5 foot king cobra (photo: Clyde Peeling's Reptiland's Facebook page)

13.5-foot King Cobra (Photo: Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland’s Facebook page)

Aruba Island Rattlesnake- critically endangered. (photo: Zoo Atlanta's Facebook page)

A critically endangered Aruba Island rattlesnake (Photo: Zoo Atlanta’s Facebook page)

Emerald tree boa (Photo: National Aquarium's Facebook page)

Emerald tree boa (Photo: National Aquarium’s Facebook page)

Reticulated Python (Photo: Columbus Zoo's Facebook page)

Hanna, a reticulated python (Photo: Columbus Zoo’s Facebook page)

short-tailed python (photo" Riverside Discovery's Facebook page)

Short-tailed pythons (Photo: Riverside Discovery’s Facebook page)

Rattlesnake (photo: San Diego Zoo)

Rattlesnake (Photo: San Diego Zoo)

Woma Python- critically endangered. (Photo: Zoo Atlanta's Facebook page)

A critically endangered Woma python (Photo: Zoo Atlanta’s Facebook page)