MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis snake population will soon increase by 28, and you will be able to watch their births!
The Memphis Zoo is hosting a livestream of their Louisiana pine snake eggs hatching.
Five snakes laid the eggs back in May. They’re in tubs filled with vermiculite, and “incubators” are ensuring they have the proper temperature and amount of humidity.
Zoo curator Dr. Steve Reichling describes the hatching process:
“Hatching in snakes is a protracted event. First they slit the leathery eggshell with a sharp tooth that grows on the tip of their snout. Then, they rest for up to a day while they absorb any remaining yolk into their body. Their egg tooth falls off, before finally slipping out of the egg.”
The eggs should all hatch within two weeks.
Louisiana pine snakes, a type of nonvenomous constrictor, are the rarest snake you can find in North America, with less than 250 of them in the wild.
The Memphis Zoo is one of only a few places working to conserve them by increasing their breeding population in captivity, and it was an impressive feat to produce 28 eggs. Once they’re hatched, six of them will be released in the fall and spring, with the rest staying at the Memphis Zoo to increase the breeding population.