Great Plains Ratsnake
Estimated Wild Population
Great Plains ratsnakes grow up to five feet long, are either light gray or brownish-gray, and are covered in dark brown blotches bordered with black. A dark brown stripe starts at the bridge of their nose and travels down their neck, crossing overtop their eyelids like a mask. These snakes sport a spearhead-shaped marking on their head, and their belly is white with bold, squarish black markings.
Interesting Fact 1
As a defense mechanism, Great Plains ratsnakes rapidly vibrate their tail in leaf litter to produce a sound very similar to the telltale sound created by rattlesnakes.
Interesting Fact 2
Their diet mostly consists of rodents; however, they will occasionally eat birds, lizards, amphibians, and even other snakes.
Interesting Fact 3
They are primarily nocturnal and oviparous, laying clutches of as many as 25 eggs in the late spring.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.