Illinois has an official state serpent, it’s not Governor Pritzker


(Note: We’ve all seen those anti-Pritzker signs in Illinois. That’s Not a political post and the headline is just for laughs.)

A few weeks ago, Illinois officially named a state rock. Yes, I said, “Wait, what?”, also out loud when I found out. The official state rock of the state of Lincoln is Dolostone, which sounds like the name of an indie band from the early 2000s. You can read why and how here.

Did you know only five other states have one official snake?

  • Arizona: Arizona Crest-nosed Rattlesnake
  • Massachusetts: Garter Snake
  • Ohio: Northern black racer
  • Virginia: Eastern Garter Snake
  • West Virginia: Timber Rattlesnake

Corresponding WTTW, a seventh grader, Gentry Heiple of Carterville Junior High School, is the student behind the initiative to name Illinois’ state reptile. This was the same circumstance for Illinois’ State Rock selection, but involved two students from different schools.

Why we need a state snake is beyond me. You may assume that I don’t care about snakes because I don’t want anything to do with them. But as mentioned, many states have “official” reptiles, and some have snakes. Much like Samuel L. Jackson, I’m sick of snakes.

Illinois’ official snake is the Eastern Milksnake. They live mostly in the upper third of Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

This reptile lives in fields, in forests, on rocky slopes and at the bottom of rivers. It hides under logs, rocks and boards.

These reptiles are brown with black stripes (or gray and white) and range from two feet to 43 inches in length. They are smoothly scaled with a V or Y shaped marking on the head.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

These snakes are known for rapidly shaking, hissing, and biting animals and humans alike. The most important question might be, are they poisonous? The answer is no. You can learn more about them here.

[h/t WTTW]

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APPEARANCE: Here are the pets that are banned in each state

With the regulation of exotic animals left to states, some organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, are pushing for federal legislation that would ban the ownership of big cats, bears, primates, and large venomous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state as well as across the country.


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