Why In The World Is Texas Releasing New Snakes Into Louisiana?
You would think that Louisiana has all the snakes we could ever need, but apparently that is just not the case.
On their Facebook page, the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas touted the release of another twenty Louisiana Pine Snakes into the wild of the Kisatchie National Forest in the Louisiana.
Robert Jackson, collection manager-amphibians and reptiles, along with zoo director, Gordon Henley of the Ellen Trout Zoo, made the trip to Louisiana as part of a Species Survival Plan, for the release of these snakes hatched and grown in human care there at the zoo.
Of course, many like me, are wondering exactly why in the world we would need more snakes in Louisiana. In my opinion, I wish we didn't have any. I wish we could catch all we've already got and transport them to other states that feel they would enjoy their company. But that's where we have to slow our roll. Apparently, these snakes serve a specific purpose to the Louisiana ecosystem.
Here's Why The Pine Snake Is So Important To The Louisiana Ecosystem
The Pine Snake is one of the rarest snake species on the North American continent. So rare, they are protected in both Texas and Louisiana. And for anyone who's ever suffered through an infestation of gophers tearing up their yard, they'll be pleased to know these snakes feed on Baird's Pocket Gophers.
In former days, these large snakes prowled the piney woods of East Texas and Western Louisiana, but in recent years, that range has been reduced to just two small areas of Louisiana, and due to their reduced presence, the gopher population has exploded. It's the hope that the release of these zoo grown snakes will once again reduce those numbers.
This recent addition of Pine Snakes brings the total to 117 for 2023 alone, but the program began back in 2010 and has proven so successful that the offspring of released snakes have been discovered.
Numbers Of Snakes Released Into Kisatchie Each Year
- 2010 - 11
- 2019 - 25
- 2020 - 54
- 2021 - 52
- 2022 - 61
- 2023 - 117
Check out all these great pictures of these Pine Snakes being released at Kisatchie.