Snake celebrates 20th birthday

The rat snake at Ford Nature Center celebrated her 20 birthday on July 15.

Guests came to visit the snake, make a craft and enjoy refreshments for her birthday. This is the first time the snake’s birthday was celebrated with the public.

Ray Novotny, former naturalist with Mill Creek MetroParks, pitched the idea to Ford Nature Center naturalist, Marilyn Williams, to host a birthday party and allow the public to come and see something they wouldn’t normally see.

While the snake stays at Ford Nature Center, she is used to education children and other guests who come to the different programs.

“I had it’s mom and dad, they lived here, and in ‘97 the mom laid a dozen eggs,” said Novotny.

Novotny took care of the mom and dad snake at Ford Nature Center. When the mother laid her eggs, about half of them hatched and Novotny decided to keep one and let the rest go. Rat snakes can live to be in their late 20’s to early 30’s.

The guests who attended the birthday party had the opportunity the hold the snake and take pictures with her. The party lasted two hours and was open for guests to come and go as they pleased.

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