Thursday, September 11, 2008

Adopt a Snake spotlight (Rusty the Red Tailed Boa)

That's right, I said snake! In addition to our birds and mammals, we also have some gorgeous reptiles. Like Rusty, for example:

Rusty's Story

Species: Red Tailed Boa Constrictor
Acquired: 2003

Rusty was given to WBS by a private individual. As of 10/2005 he was 7 feet long and weighed 27 pounds. He's definitely grown since then.

Unlike some snakes, Rusty is an eager eater. He gets two large rats every week and is an easy going guy who never gets upset.

Boas are a tropical species who like temperatures in the mid 80s to low 90s. Rusty has his enclosure misted twice daily to mimic the humidity of a tropical region. He's a valued member of our Office of Wildlife Learning. Children, in particular, are fascinated by him. They all want to touch him and find out what a snake feels like!

To adopt Rusty, simply click our donation button, make a donation of $50, and specify in your payment notes: Adopt-a-bird: RUSTY BOA. Also include your name, phone number, and mailing address so that we can send you your adoption materials!

Every donation helps to feed, house, and provide medical care for the snake of your choice! Adopt-A-Bird (and snake) Parents Receive:

  • *A personal visit with the bird you adopt!!!!! Call 636-861-3225 to set up a time for
  • your personal visit.
  • * Certificate of Adoption
  • * Color photo of the snake you've adopted
  • * Sponsorship Card
  • * One year's subscription to Mews News (our quarterly newsletter)
  • * Life History and Natural History of the snake
  • * 10% Discount off WBS merchandise
  • * Invitation to Sponsors-only events like Camera Day
  • * Discounts on WBS Special Events
  • * WBS Decal
Natural History

red tailed boa constrictor

Description non-venomous boa species; may grow to become quite large; ten sub-species recognized; color pattern is a ruddy brown ground color, becoming rich brick red on the tail; dorsally, ground color is overlaid with a series of large tan-colored saddles that become lighter toward the tail where the saddles break up into half rings of a pale cream color in vivid contrast to the red

Sex: no significant differences; females appear to be longer and heavier, however, since they continue to grow throughout their lifetime this is a difficult differentiation

Age: 20-30 years in captivity, rarely 40 years

Length: varies among sub-species; on average 10 feet considered large; record length 18.5 feet (Trinidad)

Weight: can reach over 100 pounds; average adult specimens 60 pounds

Habitat: wide variety of environmental conditions, from tropical to arid country

Status: some sub-species endangered; most have protected status in their range

Range: Central and South America, and some Caribbean islands

Behavior: small individuals may climb into trees and shrubs to forage; become mostly terrestrial as the become older and heavier; females give birth to up to 60 live young (ovoviviparous); young average 15-20 inches at birth and grow continually during their life span; jaws lined with small hooked teeth for grabbing and holding prey while they wrap their muscular bodies around the victim, squeezing until it suffocates; jaws can stretch wide to swallow large prey whole;

Diet: wide variety of mammals and birds, mostly rodents, but larger lizards and mammals as big as ocelots also reported to be consumed

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