Written by Lewis Single, Animal Care Professional
ZooTampa has partnered with the Central Florida Zoo’s Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation (OCIC) to provide a much-needed boost to the wild population of Eastern indigo snakes. On May 4th, five indigo snakes cared for at ZooTampa were released in the Conecuh National Forest in southern Alabama. Twenty snakes in total were released into gopher tortoise burrows throughout the expansive longleaf pine forest. It is our hope that these individuals will thrive and reproduce to create a stable population of Eastern Indigo Snakes that will prosper for generations to come.
At ZooTampa, our work with this project is just beginning. Our goal is to breed indigo snakes in Tampa to be released within their historic range to help the threatened Eastern indigo snake make a big comeback in the Southeastern United States.
ZooTampa would like to thank and recognize The Central Florida Zoo’s Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR), the Orianne Society, Auburn University, and US Forest Service for all that they have done to make this possible, and for including us in this determined conservation project.