Zovargo’s July Ambassador of the month is Gabe, the Rosy Boa. Gabe is very special to us and he was donated to us on August 28th, 2016. He is 7 years old and his particular subspecies is native to the San Gabriel Mountains in California! Rosy Boas are one of two native boas we have in the United States. Gabe’s coloration is absolutely beautiful, featuring a bright blush peach and sandstone white. Coloration can differ based on where the Rosy Boa lives.
Rosy boas prefer to be near to water and enjoy having a nice place to hide. They tend to spend a lot of time in the crevices of rocks to escape the extreme heat and predators. Rosy boas happen to be one of the slowest moving snakes and are very gentle. Boa constrictions use their body as a method to kill their prey. Boas will coil tightly around their prey to cut off blood flow eventually killing their food source.
Gabe and other snakes share an amazing sense of smell. If you have ever noticed a snake sticking its tongue out and then quickly in, it is actually sending sensory information to what is called the Jacobsen’s organ. The holes on the face that you are seeing are is not actually its nose, the tongue does all of the tasting and smelling! However, the holes on the nose have the important task of sensing heat from its surroundings. Snakes don’t have the best auditory hearing, and because of that, they rely more on vibrations from movement to sense prey and threats.
Gabe’s role as an animal ambassador creates more awareness in keeping our surrounding environments clear of rodenticides/pesticides so that snakes like him can survive and benefit the ecosystems they live in. Rosy boas are not endangered, but many other animals and snakes are. By protecting snakes like Gabe, we also protect his entire ecosystem. To protect all snakes (and all wildlife), always watch your step and be mindful in leaving no trace when in their home. Another way to protect them is to be a green gardener and not use pesticides or other chemicals - this also helps all animals to keep doing their important work.
Snakes like Gabe can live upwards of 22 years and although they make an amazing pet, the time commitment is something to consider. If you and your family look into buying a snake, always make sure to check out your local rescues!