Berkeley student pushes to make garter snake state reptile

Eastern garter snake closer to being official Virginia reptile

A Berkeley Middle School student made a case this week for why the Eastern garter snake should be the state's reptile in Richmond. 

Aiden Coleman, 11, presented his argument to the House of Delegates' General Law Committee Tuesday on HB35, which would make the common snake Virginia's reptile. 

Present throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Eastern garter snake is a common snake known for the three white or yellow stripes that run down the length of its back.  

It can be found in many Virginia habitats, including forests, meadows, fields and marshes; creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes; drainage ditches and suburban gardens; and urban lots, parks and cemeteries, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Garter snakes are non-venomous, but can be fairly aggressive and will readily strike and bite, sometimes causing an allergic reaction in humans, the program's website states. 

To read more about Aiden's presentation and the vote on the bill, click here.

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