Fort Worth Zoo Releases 75 Louisiana Pine Snakes In Louisiana’s Kisatchie National ForestThe Louisiana pine snake spends much of its life below the forest, underground. It feeds on pocket gophers, which are also underground dwellers. Photo by Michael Sealy, USFWS

HomeSnake Information & News

Fort Worth Zoo Releases 75 Louisiana Pine Snakes In Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest

The zoo has released 229 pine snakes since joining the captive breeding efforts of the species.

This marks the largest number of snakes released in a single event since the captive breeding program began in 2010.

Northern Leopard Frogs Released Into Washington’s Columbia National Wildlife Refuge
Australia Rock Skink, Named Just A Year Ago May Be Headed to Extinction
More Than 700 One-Year-Old Wyoming Toads Released Into The Wild

Seventy five Louisiana Pine snakes (Pituophis ruthveni) were released May 9 into the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana by the Forth Worth Zoo. This marks the largest number of snakes released in a single event since the captive breeding program began in 2010. The snakes were hatched and reared at the zoo until they were large enough to fend for themselves in the wild.

“We are one of only four institutions caring for this species in the United States, the zoo wrote on social media. “To date, we have released a total of 229 Louisiana pine snakes into a restored and maintained area within the snake’s historic range.”

Advertisement

The Fort Worth Zoo released 75 Louisiana pine snakes. Photo courtesy Fort Worth Zoo.

The effort to captive breed these snakes and release them into the wild began in 2010. At the time, the species was kept at 18 zoos for breeding programs. The breeding programs have resulted in 20 hatchlings in 2010 and 14 in 2011. Since then, more than 229 Louisiana pine snakes were born, bred, and released into the wild since.


Three Louisiana Pine Snakes Released Into Kisatchie National Forest

55 Louisiana Pine Snakes Released In Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest

Louisiana Pine Snake Listed As Threatened By USFWS

Advertisement

The Ft. Worth Zoo captive bred and released 229 snakes. Other organizations bred and released some 30 additional names, most around 2010-2012. Each snake is measured, weighed and photographed before release. They have also been microchipped so US Fish and Wildlife biologists can track their movements.

Louisiana Pine Snake Information

The Louisiana pine snake spends much of its life below the forest, underground. It feeds on pocket gophers, which are also underground dwellers. They can grow to around five feet in length and are black, brown and russet in coloration. The Louisiana pine snake is only found in pine forests of Louisiana, in four parishes of Louisiana and five counties in Texas. In 2018, Pituophis ruthveni was listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.