Illinois has an official state snake, it’s not Governor Pritzker

(Note: We’ve all seen those anti-Pritzker signs in Illinois. It’s not a political message and the title is purely for fun.)

A few weeks ago, Illinois officially named a state rock. Yeah, I said, “Wait, what?”, out loud too when I found out. Lincoln’s official country rock is Dolostone, which sounds like the name of an indie band from the early 2000s. You’ve read the why and how here.

Did you know that only five other states have a official snake?

  • Arizona: Arizona crested-nosed rattlesnake
  • Massachusetts: Gartersnake
  • Ohio: Black Runner of the North
  • Virginia: Eastern garter snake
  • West Virginia: Timber Rattlesnake

According WTTW, seventh grader Gentry Heiple of Carterville Junior High School, is the student behind the initiative to name Illinois’ state reptile. It was the same circumstance to select Illinois state rock, but it involved two students from separate schools.

Why we need a state snake is beyond me. You’re allowed to assume that I don’t care about snakes because I don’t want anything to do with them. But, as mentioned, many states have “official” reptiles, and a few involve snakes. Just like Samuel L. Jackson, I’m sick of snakes.

The official snake of Illinois is the Eastern Milksnake. They live primarily in the upper third of Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

This reptile lives in fields, woods, rocky hillsides and the bottom of rivers. He hides under logs, rocks and planks.

These reptiles are brown with black (or gray and white) stripes and range from 2 feet to 43 inches long. They are smooth with a V or Y shaped mark on the head.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

These snakes are known to shiver rapidly, hiss, and bite animals and humans. The most important question might be are they toxic? The answer is no. You can find out more about them here.

[h/t WTTW]

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WATCH: Here are the pets banned in each state

Since the regulation of exotic pets is left to the states, some organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, are advocating for standardized federal legislation that would prohibit the ownership of large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home country, as well as nationwide.