Over the Fourth of July weekend, I got a pleasant surprise. A California Kingsnake showed up in our garage (in southern Alameda County) in the middle of the afternoon! Perhaps the hot weather had something to do with it. Somehow it ended up picking the right house to visit. It was about a meter long and quite mild-mannered.
I caught it and put it in a cloth bag to keep it calm. It was one of those reusable shopping bags and it felt like quite an appropriate reuse of the bag.
Kingsnakes have a very unusual habit – they will hunt and eat venomous snakes including rattlesnakes. They have developed immunity to the venom. The “king” in their name comes from this habit. They are found throughout California. They are a sub-species of the Common Kingsnake which ranges over much of the USA.
I decided to release it near Sunol Regional Wilderness. When I opened the bag, it took some prodding to get it going. It slowly poked its head out of the bag and then glided smoothly out to its freedom. At first it wanted to head towards the road and I had to persuade it to go in the other direction.
Since it was not moving too fast, we were able to take this video.