Species Name (EN): 
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Species Name (LA): 
Heterodon platirhinos
Patient Status: 
Educational Animal

This Eastern Hog-nosed Snake was kept as a pet in Richmond, Virginia. In September 2015, when Oscar was approximately one year old, she was given to the Wildlife Center because her caretaker could no longer care for her. Because we don’t know when or where Oscar was taken from the wild, she can never be released. Reptile pets also often lack the necessary skills to survive in the wild, and introducing them to a new area can introduce disease to the local, native population. In December 2015, the Wildlife Center held a naming contest with K-12 students from throughout the U.S. Oscar was named for the impressive acting abilities of the species and the dramatic “death scenes” that they often employ to evade predators -- truly Oscar-worthy!

Previously thought to be male, the Wildlife Center had the opportunity to test Oscar's DNA by analyzing one of her sheds in May 2021. Following years of speculation from Center staff, the results definitively confirmed that she's a female!