Three snakes of the rarest species in the U.S. have a new home in central Louisiana, thanks to the efforts of the Audubon Zoo.
The zoo and the U.S. Forestry Service set the snakes loose in the Kisatchie National Forest on September 19. Only 200 Louisiana pine snakes are estimated to remain in the wild.
"Audubon Zoo has also successfully hatched a total of 113 Louisiana pine snakes since 1997," said Audubon Zoo’s Curator of Herpetology Robert Mendyk. "While many of these animals have been held back to become future breeders for the program or transferred to other participating facilities for rearing, a total of 14 individuals hatched at Audubon Zoo have been released into the wild in Louisiana to date."
The snakes were equipped with microchips to allow wildlife biologist track their movements. After one last check of their data, the snakes were set free into the borrows of pocket gophers, the snake's natural food source.