A rubber boa snake seeks some sunshine along the Okanagan Rail Trail in a photo submitted by Barry Stecyk. The boas are one of nine species of snake found in B.C. All snakes in the province are protected species so please leave them alone. The rubber boa is easily identifiable, coming in several solid colours from dusky green to a copper colour. (Photo submitted)

A rubber boa snake seeks some sunshine along the Okanagan Rail Trail in a photo submitted by Barry Stecyk. The boas are one of nine species of snake found in B.C. All snakes in the province are protected species so please leave them alone. The rubber boa is easily identifiable, coming in several solid colours from dusky green to a copper colour. (Photo submitted)

Snakes on a (Okanagan) rail trail

Rubber boa pays visit to the trail, soaking up the sun or perhaps heading to Kalamalka Lake for a dip

Those out enjoying a stroll or a spin on the Okanagan Rail Trail should be wary of trail visitors.

One couple came across a rubber boa snake either heading to Kal Lake for a swim or soaking up some sunshine in the middle of the trail on a recent weekend jaunt.

The rubber boa is one of the nine species of snake found in B.C., all of which are protected species, so best to leave them be.

“We have quite a few here,” said Pete Wise of Wise Wildlife Control Services. “They’re easily identifiable. They come in several solid colours, from dusky green to a copper colour. They have a small head and small eyes, and look like a giant dew worm.

“They are a non-aggressive species.”

According to bcreptiles.ca, the rubber boa is an aptly suited moniker, as the snake can range between 35 and 80 centimetres long.

Rubber boas eat fairly infrequently, even compared to other snakes. When they do eat, however, rubber boas’ usual meal is of mice or shrews. The snake, however, is not limited to hunting at ground level. These snakes are able swimmers, climbers and burrowers, enabling them to diversify their diet. Other items that boas eat include bird eggs, nestling birds, nestling rabbits, small lizards, other snakes, salamanders, small chipmunks, and bats.

Rubber boas are found from southern B.C. to as far north as Williams Lake.

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