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When you hear about a species survival program you always hope it's for one you don't have a deep fear of. The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas is working hard to hatch a bunch of snakes to release into the wild, and that is disconcerting for some.

Many people have a deep-seated fear of snakes and might not completely understand their place in nature. They might not even care, and that is completely understandable, but these Louisiana Pine Snakes do serve a larger purpose in their native territory.

That might be why these very helpful snakes are being bred in the Ellen Trout Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Memphis Zoo, and Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. Their hard work to restore balance in a Louisianan ecosystem is really paying off.

Louisiana Pine Snakes Feed On Gophers 

If you have ever dealt with an infestation of gophers in your yard, you can imagine what they get up to unchecked in the wild. The Louisiana Pine Snake feeds on Baird's Pocket Gophers.

These protected snakes are large, and that might be why they are sometimes killed when they shouldn't be. The Pine Snake is one of the rarest species of snake in North America, and they are protected in Texas and Louisiana.

Their former range was in East Texas, including Angelina County and areas of Western Louisiana. Now it's just been reduced to two small areas in Louisiana.

Zoo Director, Gordon Henley, traveled to Louisiana to participate in the release of these snakes hatched in our zoo with Robert Jackson, collection manager over amphibians and reptiles.

The program started in 2010, and since then it has released 408 Pine Snakes into the wild. So far they have found 5 offspring as a result of the releases, so they know it is working.

Take a look at these snakes being released into the wild.

Louisiana Pine Snake Release

The Ellen Trout Zoo helped release over 100 of these endangered snakes into the wild.

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