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Animal House: The Charm Of Corn Snakes

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Looking to venture into reptile ownership?  A good place to start is with a corn snake -- a great animal for the first-time snake owner.

  • The slender corn snake is also known as the rat snake. They start out small, and eventually grow to four to six feet long.  That's according to Tasha, from Pet Co. in Normal.
  • With proper care, this carnivore can live to be 20 years old, so be sure you're ready to make a commitment to its care.
  • Make sure you have an appropriately sized habitat for your growing snake, and make sure the little guy can't get out -- they're notorious escape artists!
  • Aspen shavings make a comfortable bed, plus you'll need a variety of small enclosures and rocks for the snake.
  • Corn snakes are pretty laid back, but you need to supervise young children, if they want to handle the reptile.
  • You'll want to feed you snake small frozen rodents.  If that makes you squeamish, forget about owning a snake.
  • Keep your snake's habitat healthy with a weekly cleaning.
  • You could also  consider adopting the Animal House Pet of the Week -- Rick, from the Humane Society of Central Illinois.
    Credit Humane Society of Central Illinois
    Rick would love to celebrate Christmas and all the rest of the days of the year with you!
Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.