Ambassador since 2012
Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli
- Even though he looks very different from Mary Milksnake, Oscar is her very close relative. All milksnakes in North and Central America are the same species, separated in to 25 subspecies.
- Oscar’s story has many twists and turns. A trash collector spotted him as he and his aquarium were being dumped into a garbage truck. Mistaken for a venomous coral snake, he was taken by police car to a local wildlife rescue where he was identified as a nonvenomous milksnake. He later was transferred to Hickory Knolls and was named Oscar in honor of the Sesame Street muppet who lives in a garbage can.
- Oscar’s bold black, red and off-white bands are an example of Batesian mimicry, where a harmless creature’s markings mimic those of a dangerous one—in this case, a venomous coral snake.
- The rhyme, “Red touching yellow can kill a fellow. Red touching black is a friend of Jack,” can be used to tell the difference between coral snakes and milksnakes.