July 16 - World Snake Day

July 16 – World Snake Day.

World Snake Day is celebrated annually on July 16. The origin of this holiday is still unknown. However, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the people who are committed to preserve wildlife around the world. The purpose of this day is to help people learn more about these reptiles and how they contribute to the animal world.

Snakes are one of the oldest mythological characters. Today, about 3400 species of snakes are known, living from semi-frozen tundra to the humid jungle of the equator and most of the world's oceans. Snakes are highly efficient predators and play a vital role in maintaining natural balance. Snakes are also impressive in that they are of prehistoric origin, thus bringing us back to the past when reptiles reigned on earth.

In Greek mythology the god of medicine Asclepius (in Roman mythology Aesculapius) appears in the form of a snake that saved the people from illness and death, he is depicted with a walking stick entwined with a snake. This myth became the prototype of the emblem of medicine – a bowl entwined with a snake, as well as the name of one of the species of snakes – Aesculapian snake (Lat. Zamenis longissimus), rare and nonvenomous, listed in the Red List of Ukraine.

Snakes can be of a wide variety of sizes – from pythons and boas, which reach 10 meters, to blind snakes, which can fit on a coin. Also, snakes come in a wide variety of colors. The longest snake in the world is the reticulated python (Lat. Broghammerus reticulatus).

Mykolaiv Zoo joins the celebration of World Snake Day.

The collection of snakes in our zoo includes 20 species, of which: 11 species of pythons and boas, and 9 species of colubrid snakes. There are no venomous species of snakes in the collection of Mykolaiv Zoo.

To date, the oldest snakes in Mykolaiv Zoo are: the yellow anaconda (Lat. Eunectes notaeus) – 21 years old, the Hispaniola boa (Lat. Chilabothrus striatus) – 22 years old and the northern boa (Lat. Boa imperator) – 26 years old.

Over the past year, the collection of our zoo has received offspring from: the beauty rat snake (Lat. Elaphe taeniura), the Pueblan milk snake (Lat. Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli). These species of snakes have been breeding not for the first year. And this year, the species of the ball python (Lat. Python regius) had the young ones – this is the first offspring during the last 10 years. Also, two females of the Honduran milk snake (Lat. Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis) had a replenishment. This is the first case of breeding of this species in Mykolaiv Zoo.

Nowadays of all the snakes of the fauna of Ukraine only the Blotched snake (Lat. Elaphe sauromates) is kept in our zoo.

You can see the collection of snakes of Mykolaiv Zoo in the aquaterrarium and in the winter premises of the primates’ house.

We advise fans of reptiles to pay attention to the information of ecological and educational content about snakes of our region and Ukraine, which is located on the stands in the aquaterrarium.