Pet of the Week: Curie the Corn Snake

By Alexa Dunn, Correspondent

When thinking of your ideal pet, your mind may go along the lines of a cat or a dog, and or maybe even a small rodent. But have you ever thought of a snake as being a perfect pet?

Freshman Bella Memeo showed me her pet corn snake, Curie. Curie is anerythristic, meaning that she lacks red pigment in her scales, and shows up more black and white rather than the typical vibrant colors of a corn snake. Memeo said that she “had been asking for a snake all her life,” and was finally surprised on her 18th birthday with Curie! 

Corn snakes are rather small, with females only about three feet long, and very slender, only weighing a couple pounds at most. Memeo described Curie as being “extremely docile with people,” even helping people overcome their fear of snakes. Many people only envision snakes as being creepy or downright threatening, but there are many species of snakes that don’t pose any threat to humans and if raised in captivity, can be ideal pets. 

Curie loves to “lick (or technically sniff) people and things out,” said Memeo, laughing about how her snake was endlessly curious about the environment around her – people, plants, objects, Curie wanted to explore it all. Corn snakes are known for being very active explorers, with a lot of energy in comparison to other snakes, who might be more content with sitting in your lap and resting. “Curie will literally beg to come out of her tank to sit with people,” Memeo said. “I honestly think she acts more like a dog than a snake.” 

Snakes are actually quite similar to cats in their attitude: while lacking the emotional capability that we often associate with these more affectionate pets, docile snakes like Curie are more than willing to curl up and hang out with you. If anything, climbing on a human is more of climbing on a warm, comfortable heat tree to them. Memeo said that her favorite memory of Curie was when the curious snake would sit with her and explore while she was drawing or painting. Like cats, snakes are fine with being alone, but as long as they are comfortable with their owner, they certainly don’t mind being held.

Speaking of holding snakes, many people have never had the opportunity to do so and one of Memeo’s favorite things about owning Curie is how she has “helped a few people overcome their fear of snakes.” While owning dangerous or venomous snakes is never a good idea, there are many varieties of harmless snakes that can serve as an amazing pet. They may not fulfill the same affectionate role as a dog, but they make up for it in many other ways.