LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Zoo says it has had its most successful breeding season for rare and endangered snake species.

The zoo’s Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles program produced a record 61 snake babies this summer and fall, including various types of vipers and rattlesnakes.

The program staff tries to create an environment replicating mountainous rocky crevices where most of the species make their dens during winter.

A scientific refrigerator is used to house snakes during the four months of the year when they go through a state similar to hibernation that is necessary for breeding.

Temperatures are generally lowered to 55 degrees, although some snakes need temperatures closer to freezing. In early spring the snakes are warmed, awakened and paired for breeding.

Surplus snakes are sent to other zoos.

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