Visitors among us

Alan ‘Bunny’ Miles stumbled on a multi-coloured, ‘different looking’ snake while working in his yard this week.

‘I have never seen anything like this and I’m not sure if it’s venomous,’ he said upon bringing the reptile to the Compass.

After sending the pictures to DOE’s Senior Research Officer Dr. Mat DaCosta-Cottam, the Compass learned that the serpent was a corn snake. Mr. Cottam said the species were highly variable in colouration and were not a threat to humans.

The animal is what researchers and experts refer to as invasive exotic and is said to now be common in George Town.

When asked what impact these kinds of species of snakes could have on our environment, Mr. Cottam said the corn snake is an occasional predator of birds and they may likely compete for food with the island’s endemic Cayman racer snake.

Mr. Cottam said an invasive species is one which spreads to the detriment of all local species. He also shed some light on how these animals may be coming to our shores.

‘Illegal importation, landscaping with certain exotic plants, escaped or disgarded pets, and accidental or incidental introductions… represent the most common routes of passage for invasive species.’