Albino rat snake 'Pearl' finds new home at Virginia Living Museum

Posted at 11:05 AM, Mar 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-20 11:05:58-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Virginia Living Museum welcomed a lucky find to its herpetology collection this St. Patrick's Day: an albino eastern rat snake named Pearl.

Pearl was found in a farmer's chicken coop in western Virginia and was rehomed to the VLM by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. The VLM said it's uncertain if Pearl was actually a wild snake or an escaped pet, as adult albino animals are rare in the wild due to their lack of camouflage and visual impairments.

According to the VLM, Pearl is approximately 4 to 5 years old. She's currently 4 feet long, but the VLM says she may continue to grow — rat snakes can reach lengths of up to 6 feet.

"We know that St. Patrick may not approve, but we felt like today was the perfect day to introduce the world to Pearl, an albino black rat snake!" the VLM said in a tweet. "We are so lucky to add this new Ambassador Animal to our collection!"

If you're interested in viewing Pearl, she'll be on display during the VLM's upcoming Reptiles and Amphibians Weekend March 26 and March 27. A wide variety of native and exotic reptiles and amphibians will be on display and featured in live animal programs, making this event one of the largest collections in Virginia.

To register for the event or learn more about the VLM, click here.