Hueston Woods Naturalists Plan St. Patrick’s Day Snake Soirée


Pete and Higgins, a pair of Timber Rattlesnakes, will be featured attractions at the Hueston Woods Snake Soirée. Photo courtesy of the Hueston Woods Nature Center

By Max Krzyzaniak

It is said that St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out of Ireland. Some of them might have ended up in Hueston Woods State Park.

The first annual St. Patrick’s Day Snake Soirée will take place from 2-3 p.m. Sunday at the Hueston Woods Nature Center. The event will include an in-depth discussion about the reptiles that are found in Ohio.

Kathryn Zeppernick, a Hueston Woods naturalist, said species that will be presented include aquatic and terrestrial turtles and a variety of snakes.  

Visitors will be able to see and learn about a pair of timber rattlesnake brothers named Pete and Higgins who have called the nature center their home for the past 10 years, she said. Timber rattlers are found in the wild throughout much of the northeastern United States.

Most of the animals being displayed are considered non-releasable because they have grown so used to the care they get at the nature center that they might not be able to survive in the wild. Many have been brought to the nature center from surrounding rehabilitation centers and by other wildlife officers, Zeppernick said.

Because this is the park’s first snake soirée, the nature center is hoping for a good turnout, she said.