Animal Management: Bede's Sssnake Collection Expandsss...
The twin corn snakes being cared for by twin Dorms House brothers Charlie and George.
Twin corn snakes have just been given to the Animal Management department at Bede's by Drusillas Park.
Paul Juniper, Head of Animal Management, is delighted with the latest addition. "We are very grateful to Drusillas Park for this donation. Their zoo staff have always been a great source of support and advice, ever since we started our own collection. Our Sixth Form students studying Animal Management much enjoy their regular lessons there too.
"Corn snakes, found naturally in North America, are generally docile and are non-venomous. Indeed they are beneficial to humans, since they help to control populations of wild rodent pests that damage crops and spread diseases. They also make popular pets and there are many morphs, or variations, in the skin patterns.
"We already have a rapidly growing boa constrictor (Boa constrictor) and two splendid royal pythons (Python regius), sometimes called 'ball pythons' after their tendency to curl up into protective balls if stressed, so two new specimens of Pantherophis guttatus are a welcomed bonus."
It seems that humans either fear or are entranced by snakes. However, there is undoubtedly a ghoulish fascination when it comes to feeding time. The students always gather around to watch, spellbound, as the snakes make their lightning strikes and entwine their prey.
"When seeking their food, both boa constrictors and pythons use eyes, nostrils, a sensitive tongue and pit organs, which are receptors that detect infrared thermal radiation, or heat, so these snakes are also adept at hunting in the dark," explained Mr Juniper.