Moody Gardens missing snake found

July 9, 2008 10:21:06 AM PDT
The mystery of the missing snake has been solved at Moody Gardens in Galveston.Staff members noticed the venomous African Bush Viper was missing from the exhibit - or so they thought. It was believed one of the other five snakes in exhibit may have eaten it, and biologists were in the process of taking x-rays and testing them for traces of the missing snake.

But, as it turns out, the viper was never really missing at all. The snake apparently has extraordinary abilities to camouflage itself, so it couldn't be seen by the staff. It has now come out of hiding.

"Camouflage is typical snake behavior," said Paula Kolvig, Assistant Curator of the Rainforest Pyramid. "Snakes camouflage in their exhibit just as they do in nature. This snake is green in color, approximately 10 - 12 inches long and one inch in diameter. It is quite easy and natural for it camouflage."

The snake exhibit was taken out of public viewing during the search. Moody Gardens says at no point were guests ever in danger.

"Since there was not a breach of containment, there was no need to present false alarms to the public," said General Manager John Zendt, who added that it is important to not draw conclusions as all possibilities are explored by staff. "We are pleased to know that the animal is safe and exhibiting healthy behavior. The staff is reassembling plants and brush and all snakes will be back on exhibit in the Rainforest Pyramid this weekend."

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