(FOX Providence) - By now you probably know about the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo.
But starting October 23rd can check out another festive event from our friends at Roger Williams Park Zoo, it's the "Spooky Zoo."
Spooky Zoo is back offering two weekends of outdoor autumn activities for the whole family! Activities are free with zoo admission and all children (12 and under) dressed in costume receive half-priced admission!
Jill Austin, Andrea Stein and their creepy friend, The Honduran milk snake joined the Rhode Show to tell us more about the event.
Honduran Milk Snake Valentine
Date of Birth: 9/22/99
Arrived: 12/01 from Henry Doorly Zoo
Honduras, Nicaragua and portions of northeast Costa Rica.
This milk snake species is found in low to mid-elevation rainforest leaf litter in Honduras, Nicaragua and portions of northeast Costa Rica.
Adult specimens of the Honduran milk snake often reach 4 feet and sometimes exceed 6 feet in length. Their average weight is about 2.8 pounds.
They are tri-colored with bold rings of white/yellow, black and red/orange that may or may not extend onto the belly and completely encircle the snake. The thin tail sounds like a rattlesnake when they shake their tail quickly in leaf litter.
Sexual maturity is reached at 3 – 4 years. Most mating occurs in May. Females seem to gather at communal egg-laying sites in early June.
It is not known why they do this - may be due to a lack of suitable nesting sites, rather than for social reasons. The female lays 3-18 leathery-shelled eggs beneath rocks, in decaying plants or rotting logs, compost and manure piles, under boards, and in loose soil.
Incubation period is 10 weeks.
Hatchlings are large and robust and should start eating after their first shed, which occurs anywhere from 5-10 days from leaving the egg.
Like many reptiles, the incubation temperature of their eggs determines the sex of the young (warmer = males; cooler = females).
In the wild: 15 years. In captivity: 20 years, longer lived species have been recorded.
In Wild: Small mammals such as voles, mice, and rats, birds, lizards, other snakes
At Zoo: Mice
This species is harmless and non-venomous. It leads a solitary life and is rarely seen in the open during the day. It is often seen crossing roads at night.
They are nocturnal (active at night) in summer & diurnal (active in the daytime) in spring & fall. Its favorite hunting ground is around barns and other human locales. They burrow through loose leaf litter hunting for prey.
It kills by constricting (squeezing) its prey. Hibernation occurs from late October or early November until April or May. Milk snakes do not bask openly and are frequently discovered under an object that is in direct sunlight, absorbing heat from the object's underside.
They will flee when threatened but will hold their ground and raise the head to strike if cornered. They use quick, jerky movements so that their bands flash, startling predators. Their bright colors signal danger. These snakes are known for their imitation of the markings and behavior of the venomous coral snake.
The milk snake's name originates from the incorrect belief that they drank milk from the udders of cows because they were often seen in barns and stables. In reality, they were hunting rodents, commonly found in those structures.
Milk snakes in general have one of the widest distributions of any snake in the Americas. Predators include birds of prey, wild felids, humans (imitates the brightly colored banding of local venomous coral snakes and therefore gain protection from predators)
Click here for more information on the Spooky Zoo at Roger Williams Park Zoo.