Home Snakes alive! Wildlife Center of Virginia hosting virtual discussion on World Snake Day

Snakes alive! Wildlife Center of Virginia hosting virtual discussion on World Snake Day

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Today marks World Snake Day, and the Wildlife Center of Virginia is celebrating the holiday with a live-streaming virtual discussion.

The event will take place on the Wildlife Center’s Facebook page on Saturday, July 16, at 2 p.m.

Guest speakers will include:

  • Dr. Chris Jenkins, co-founder of the Orianne Society and one of the leaders in snake conservation
  • Bonnie Keller, a lifelong snake advocate who recently trained center staff members on venomous snake handling

Event watchers will learn about the natural history of Virginia’s native snakes, the challenges they are facing in wild, and the conservation measures taken to protect them.

The exact origins of the holiday are unknown.

The Wildlife Center also offers tips to help snakes year-round.

Do’s and do not’s to help snakes year-round

  • Do leave wild snakes alone. If you see a snake in your yard, the best thing to do is let it go on its way. After all, it’s likely helping reduce pests around your home and garden. Do not keep a wild snake as a pet. It’s important to keep wildlife in the wild where they belong.
  • Do prioritize exclusion methods as a long-term solution for snake-proofing your home and property. Do not use glue traps; they are inhumane and lead to prolonged struggling and suffering for the animal.
  • Do remain aware of your surroundings while hiking or spending time outdoors. Do not put your hands and feet in places you can’t see. Snakes often hide under logs and crevices.
  • Do treat all snakes with the respect and dignity they inherently deserve. Do not kill snakes. Killing a snake doesn’t keep other snakes away, and even though you may be uneasy around them, they are important members of our ecosystem. It’s also illegal to kill snakes in Virginia unless there is an imminent threat to one’s personal health and safety.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.