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Snakes slither into the recreation center

Maya Berger
The ring-necked snakes can be near the size of the palm of a hand.

Slithering through the doors of the Bloomsburg Student Recreation Center, uninvited scale-covered guests glide into the nooks and crannies of the various exercise rooms. Weaseling their way in, the snakes are found by various members of the staff.

Ring-necked snakes have been found in the recreation center for the last 15 years. (Jen White)

According to Jen White, the Executive Director of Campus Recreation at CU-Bloomsburg, the snakes are coming from the wooded, grassy areas around the perimeter of the building. The staff has discovered ring-necked snakes for over 15 years.

“To my knowledge, only 2 snakes have been found inside the building this semester.”, said White. She elaborated that the dark, ring-necked reptiles can be found in any parts of the building. White believes no other snake species has ever been seen inside the recreation center, only the yellow, ring-necked serpents.

The size of snakes found are small enough to fit in the palm of a hand. They range from the size of a quarter inch when curled up, and no more than 3-4 inches in length. Their tiny size gives them a bit of an advantage at finding a way inside the building.

Staff are briefed on the potential for an occasional snake to be reported with staff training. The team members are asked keep any eye on it, until they can positively identify it and determine if it is safe to get back outside to its natural habit.

“The recreation center has a monthly pest control contract with Ehrlich, a local pest control company, to specifically address pest/snake control inside and outside of the building. They use various types of traps and deterrents to service the facility and monitor activities on a monthly basis.”, said White. The student workers maintain the recreation center annual nightly cleaning by wiping down equipment and putting equipment away.

Destiny Hickey, a senior Psychology student who is employed at the Student Recreation Center, remembers hearing of snake sightings last year. She reminisced on a video taken of one last year before the snake was collected from the gym. 

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