OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium announced the birth of four endangered eastern indigo snakes on Friday.
The births, which happened on Wednesday and Thursday, marked the first time the species were born at the zoo. The zoo said the eggs were laid back in April.
The zoo said once the offspring are able to feed on their own, they will be moved to a habitat visible to the public in the Desert Dome’s sunroom.
Zoo guests are able to see the sire of the offspring in the swamp area of Mahoney’s Kingdoms of the Night.
Eastern indigo snakes are native to the southeastern United States, primarily Florida and southeastern Georgia. The species are named for their glossy bluish-black scales and are considered the largest non-venomous snake in the country. They can reach up to eight and a half feet in length.
Zoo officials said adult females will breed from October through February and lay a single clutch of four to 12 eggs from April to July. They rely on gopher tortoise burrows as nesting sites and to seek shelter.
The eastern indigo is a federally threatened species and is protected under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.