THE world may never know whether or not Kate Middleton will be sporting a garter as part of her wedding attire tomorrow.
However, Chester Zoo’s reptile team certainly will be – as an endangered snake goes on display for the first time.
The rare San Francisco garter snake is moving in to the zoo’s Tropical Realm.
Known for its extraordinary colouration, the finger-thin snake has sky blue, blood-red and black stripes and can grow to about half a metre in length.
Chester Zoo’s curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates, Richard Gibson said: “The San Francisco garter snake is another new arrival for the zoo and is a gorgeous and fascinating species for visitors to learn about.
“It is one of North America’s most beautiful, but threatened, snakes”.
The species lives only on the San Francisco peninsula and is found in wetlands that support large numbers of frogs – their main food source.
But it is estimated that as few as 1,000 may now remain, due to the destruction of their habitat, illegal collection and decreased availability of their prey.
The zoo will also soon be home to the world’s largest species of chameleon – the Parson’s chameleon from Madagascar.