Visitors at Lake Pueblo often ask the question “Did I just see a pink snake”. No need to check your glasses or ask for a designated driver. Yes, you may see a pink snake at Lake Pueblo. The locals call them Red Racers, but in fact they are Coachwhips. The interesting thing is that this snake is only pink in south east Colorado, everywhere else they are tan or olive in color.
Coachwhips are one of the longer snakes around, getting to 5-6 feet as adults. They can be seen basking on the rocks or along the roadside. They are closely related to the racer and whipsnakes and are similar in appearance. The Red Racer term probably comes from the fact that they are very active and very fast. The Coachwhip actually chases down its prey and is an opportunistic feeder. They will eat anything they can catch and swallow, small mammals, birds, eggs, lizards, snakes, frogs, and large insects are common prey.
Coachwhips have somewhat of a reputation for their attitude. When pursued or cornered they often turn toward the attacker and vibrate their tail and strike repeatedly. The reputation is not helped by the fact that they seem to have a very liberal definition of being pursued or cornered. They may exhibit their bravado to a passing bicyclist, a walker on the bike path, or even an innocent park ranger checking on a stalled vehicle. They are non-venomous and are of no threat to humans.