The Orianne Society (TOS) is excited to announce the purchase of 25 acres in Lake County, Florida, for the Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation (OCIC). This strategic property is bordered to the north by Seminole State Forest, and promotes connectivity between The Wekiva River Protection Area and Ocala National Forest. This affords the TOS an opportunity to not only create a conservation center dedicated to the Eastern Indigo Snake, but also contribute to a vital regional wildlife corridor for the Florida Black Bear and other species of conservation concern. The OCIC property is located within a network of hydrologically connected wetlands associated with Sulphur Run, Blackwater Creek, and the protected Wekiva River. The central portion of the property contains two ponds, surrounded by freshwater marsh and wet prairie systems. Forested uplands in the northwestern portion contain a section of pine-mesic oaks with sand pine, live oak, laurel oak, and saw palmetto as the dominant species. The southeastern section is uplands, canopied by live oaks, where the OCIC buildings will be located. Phase I construction of a Quarantine Building and a Herpetarium (indoor facility for reptiles) will commence this spring, with Phase II Veterinary Clinic and Research Building to follow.
All buildings and enclosures are designed to fit into the natural environment, leaving only small footprints immersed within the natural environment. An existing residence is currently under renovation for administrative office space and initial snake holding during construction of the Herpetarium. Phase I construction also includes an array of outdoor snake enclosures, allowing our indigos to enjoy all the natural rhythms and stimuli of their native habitats. This “snake spa” will allow indigos to bask in the sun, play in the rain, and seasonally cycle as temperature and photoperiod changes throughout the year. And of course they will only dine on the “best cuisine” of OCIC-raised mice and rats! It is this strategy that will help to ensure that our breeding colony remains in the peak of health and at the highest level of production for planned repatriation programs. These are exciting times for TOS captive breeding program so visit our website often for updates!