The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s new ball python snake has a name thanks to hundreds of votes cast on social media. The name Penny was the top choice for the snake, which has joined the Forest Preserve’s menagerie at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. The snake was recently acquired as a rescue animal after the nature center’s previous ball python, Bud, passed away following an illness at the estimated age of 30. He had served as Plum Creek’s resident snake ambassador for 10 years. Rather than name the snake themselves, Plum Creek staff suggested four possible monikers that would suit the female python: Penny, for her shiny copper-highlighted skin; Mali, for South Mali in West Africa where ball pythons are a native species; Cleopatra or Cleo, for the Egyptian ruler who was known for her great beauty and was often portrayed with a snake; and Xena, for the mighty TV show heroine, “Xena: Warrior Princess.” After hundreds of votes were tallied on the District’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, pretty Penny narrowly defeated warrior Xena. Penny will now take Bud’s place helping the District educate students during “Hands-On Herpetology” field trips; “Frogs, Snakes and Turtles” youth group programs; and at many public programs and events. She will be on display with the other animals that live at the nature center: Smashbox, a three-toed box turtle; Daenerys, a bearded dragon; and Shoebert, a tiger salamander that is native to the area. All of the animals are rescues. For more information on Forest Preserve District programs and visitor centers, visit ReconnectWithNature.org or follow the District on social media, Facebook.com/WillCoForests and Twitter.com/WillCoForests.