Would This Texas State Park’s New Snake Security Guard Scare You Away?
The Texas Park and Wildlife Instagram account posted a photo of a non-venomous rat snake guarding the door at Resaca de la Palma state park in Brownsville, Texas.
The post is captioned “Sorry, this door is locked” and shows the rat snake coiled around the handle of the door. It seems that the park's new security is taking its job very seriously and wants everyone to follow the "please use other doors" sign attached to their posting.
It looks like this guard is a gray rat snake based on its coloration and spotted pattern. Rat snakes are native to the southeastern states and can also be found in the eastern and midwestern states. Adult rat snakes are typically around three to five feet long, but can get up to six feet in some cases.
These snakes are non-venomous and primarily eat small rodents and birds. Although their slithery security guard may look a little scary, he is pretty much harmless to humans. However, they sure do a good job of scaring most people off.
My family had a corn snake and a tortoise when I was growing up. So, I'm a bit of a reptile lover myself. I think growing up with a unique pet like that can help dodge any possible fears surrounding those animals when you’re older. However, it’s a very good instinct to be afraid of snakes. Most people do not know the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes, and you should never try to handle a snake you find in the wild.
I think this rat snake is doing a great job at securing the door at this state park and making sure guests use the other doors instead. Keep at it, little guy -- you’re doing great.