Zovargo’s July Ambassador of the month is Gabe, the Rosy Boa Snake.
Snakes are very special to Zovargo. This Rosy Boa Snake, Gabe, was donated to us on August 28th, 2016. He is 7 years old and his particular subspecies is native to the San Gabriel Mountains in California! Rosy Boas are one of two native boas we have in the United States. Gabe’s coloration is absolutely beautiful, featuring a bright blush peach and sandstone white. Coloration can differ based on where the Rosy Boa snake lives.
Rosy boa snakes prefer to be near to water and enjoy having a nice place to hide. They tend to spend a lot of time in the crevices of rocks to escape the extreme heat and predators. These snakes happen to be one of the slowest moving snakes and are very gentle. Boa constrictions use their body as a method to kill their prey. Boas will coil tightly around their prey to cut off blood flow eventually killing their food source.
Gabe and other snakes share an amazing sense of smell. When a rosy boa snake is sticking its tongue out, it is actually sending sensory information to what is called the Jacobsen’s organ. The holes on the nose have the important task of sensing heat from its surroundings. Snakes don’t have the best auditory hearing. They rely more on vibrations from movement to sense prey and threats.
Gabe’s role as an animal ambassador creates more awareness in keeping our surrounding environments clear of rodenticides/pesticides so that snakes like him can survive and benefit the ecosystems they live in. Rosy boas are not endangered, but many other animals and snakes are. By protecting snakes like Gabe, we also protect his entire ecosystem.
How you can help snakes
To protect all snakes (and all wildlife), always watch your step and be mindful in leaving no trace when in their home. Another way to protect them is to be a green gardener and not use pesticides or other chemicals – this also helps all animals to keep doing their important work.
It’s important to note that snakes like Gabe the rosy boa snake can live upwards of 22 years and although they make an amazing pet, the time commitment is something to consider. If you and your family look into buying a snake, always make sure to check out your local rescues.
Zovargo provides educational animal programs throughout Southern California bringing “science to life” in classrooms, for scout programs, libraries, and private events. Looking to work with animals? You can also join our team of intern animal educators and help foster connections between people and animals by supporting our mission.