Friday, January 22, 2010

Maizey the Corn Snake

Rest in peace Maizey
1995 – 2010

Maizey entered the world in 1995 and came to Pacific Science Center in 1996 or 97, when he was about the diameter of a pencil and could weave in and out between a handler’s fingers.

He was soon known for his good appetite and his friendly demeanor, and this side of Maizey never changed throughout his entire life. Even in his most recent demonstrations he was described as “fantastic” and “great”.

In addition to helping many visitors and staff overcome their anxiety about snakes, Maizey and his fellow corn snake Zea helped illustrate the genetic variability that controls pigment. Maizey had dark, naturally occurring colors. Zea is a partial albino (amelanistic mutation). The two snakes, viewed side by side, showed how a few genes control skin color, and how variable pigment can be within a species.

Maizey the corn snake died peacefully on Wednesday January 20, shortly after being diagnosed with a fast growing form of cancer. The suspected killer, hemangiosarcoma, is a cancer that is fed by blood vessels. It is highly invasive and fast growing. Perhaps it is best that our memories of Maizey are of a healthy, active, personable snake who seemed to live well right to the end.

Maizey will be missed by all who had the privilege of working with him.


  1. Awww, such sad news! Im glad Maizey had a good, long life though and could help educate people that snakes dont have to be scary. :)

  2. Maizey was one of the coolest animals at PSC the years I worked there. I wonder how many people saw that snake thought "Wow, snakes are cool!" for the first time. RIP Maizey. :)

  3. So sorry to hear this. I recently lost my sweet corn snake and it was a terrible blow. But they both had good lives, were well cared for and much loved. R.I.P.

  4. aaww . so sad. I work at the PSC and I use to say hi to all the snakes and fish before I walk up to the cafe. poor maizey. sounds like he a great life though.