It’s not quite “snakes on a plane.” However, the San Francisco International Airport is getting pretty close. Scientists created a sanctuary for the San Francisco garter snake near the airport’s tarmac.
The small creatures are highly endangered. They live in the region’s peninsula. Unfortunately, however, they also have a lot of predators. The colorful reptile has beautiful markings. With stripes of turquoise and orange, it doesn’t look like your average neighborhood snake.
While the gorgeous area of California is thriving and expanding – a booming town of tourism – the harmless little snakes are less fortunate. Their wetland homes have are becoming increasingly scarce, according to the Good News Network.
Drought conditions have also threatened their population. The species of snake made the endangered list more than 50 years ago. Further, dogs and cats are the garter snake’s main prey, hunting them in neighborhood yards.
Luckily, a habitat was created for the serpents. A private 160-acre piece of land just beyond the airport’s runways now houses a thriving population.
The spot has several ponds and protective areas. Best of all, no humans or canines can interfere with the colony. Moreover, the home is populated with 1,300 snakes in addition to frogs and other small reptiles.
However, the area is a temporary solution to a larger problem. For the long-term survival of the snake species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working diligently to find something.
“Everything that happens there is designed to protect these species,” said Doug Yakel, a spokesperson for the airport.
“For us, success would be that there is a stable thriving population, but to find out we had the largest population—it was really a pleasant surprise.”
Snakes in Strange Places
Speaking of reptile territories, several pythons in Florida have wound up where they don’t belong. While the giant snakes are invasive in Florida regions, they also tend to wander into unusual places. This is something quite alarming.
One woman in the Sunshine State found this out the hard way. Ali Skipper woke up to find an enormous ball python hanging out on her bathroom sink. The horror she must have felt is chilling. Albeit, the woman was good-natured about the whole incident.
She posted a photo to social media:
“There is a snake in my 2nd story bathroom!!! Who do we call? I’m freaking out!!!” Skipper captioned the photo.
As it turns out, the snake was not a creature of the wild. It was left by a previous tenant, which is even more stomach-churning to think she’d been living with the creature the whole time.
The snake was safely removed from the apartment and relocated.