Manitoba Conservation officers were called to the Legislative Buildings in Winnipeg this week after a den of more than 10,000 garter snakes were discovered to have taken over the entire upper floor. The snakes are believed to have migrated from Manitoba’s famous Narcisse snake pits to occupy a habitat more suitable for their species.
“It makes a lot of sense,” said snake expert Belinda Peters. “These snakes will always find their way to a suitable environment for their type. I’m surprised no one noticed them before. It happens every year.”
Thousands of tourists who flock to Manitoba every year to see the world’s largest mass orgy of mating garter snakes will now be able to witness the snakes in action at a more convenient central Winnipeg location.
“It’s really a wonder of the world,” said Peters. “I know that other provincial and national capitals claim to have snake pits of their own, but we’ve got the world’s largest. Look it up. We’re in the Guinness Book of Records.”
Peters says that although some may find the snakes off-putting, she reminds the public that garter snakes are mostly harmless.
“They may be slithery and disgusting writhing altogether in an netted mass,” said Peters, “but the worst you’ll get it is a harmless little bite on your finger.”
Peters warns the public to keep their distance and not to touch or pick up the snakes, though she says not to worry if you do get bit, as the Manitoba garter snake is not poisonous.
(photo credits: Dano and Tony Webster/CC)