Eastern Fox Snakes are a large species that are native to states in the Great Lakes area, as well as parts of Ontario, Canada. They are often confused with other large species, including the Massasauga Rattlesnake, a venomous and widely feared snake. Although Massasaugas are no serious threat to humans, ignorance and misinformation contributes to many deaths each year by fearful humans. The Eastern Fox Snake, with it's similar markings and intentional imitation of the more threatening Massasauga, is also killed by the ill-informed. Eastern Fox Snakes are a beneficial species and without them, the rodent population, especially rats would increase dramatically. This snake is a constrictor, using its body to coil around its prey. It will squeeze and suffocate large rodents and then swallow them whole. Growing to a length of 1.7m or 5 feet, they are more than capable of taking down a full grown rat or similar sized rodent. This snake was illegally kept as a pet by an unqualified owner who did not have the required permit or adequate knowledge to properly care for the animal. It was seized and turned over to the licensed rehab facility where it lives now. It cannot be released into the wild after being raised in captivity. The snake simply would not be able to integrate successfully into a wild population and it might not know how to hunt effectively in the wild. It would also be irresponsible to release a snake without knowing its genetics and which specific population it had descended from. Introducing new genetics to a wild population would have unpredictable and possibly catastrophic effects. This Fox Snake is actually very intelligent and it has already learned that the blue tub which is kept in its larger habitat offers it a confined and comfortable den. Similar to a shelter that it would seek out on the wild, this tub is its bed. After being fed and handled, the snake is quite content. As this young biologist prepares to put him back in his enclosure, the snake recognizes the den and makes a beeline for the opening. It takes several seconds for him to completely disappear as he smoothly slithers in and coils up for the night. This is similar to a dog or cat putting himself to bed after meal time. Even his handler was impressed with the snake's ability to recognize its home and to find the entrance.
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