Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ittie Bittie Teenie Weenie...

Snake! I was on facebook tagging pics from the party when BabySis im'd me that my mother had almost stepped on a snake on our pool deck. My dad hadn't been able to find it, so when I got home I decided to look. I didn't want anyone to get bit or for the snake to get stepped on in the middle of the night. Turns out he was hiding under a flipflop.

So I caught him under the pool skimmer.
I dropped him in an old mop bucket my dad had in the 'dog house'.
And took him *way* out back and chucked him over the back fence and into the swale back there. Last seen he was crawling happily away into the brush.

11 comments:

  1. What a hero! :) Glad you documented it for us! :D

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  2. CUTE! He's not poisonous or anything, right? Would you have known if he was? o.o Or were you just hoping not to get bitten?

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  3. Susanne,

    I caught him under the skimmer and I thought, 'okay, now I can get pics for the blog!' It's an addiction, really. I wanted to get a pic of him all stretched out but he wouldn't cooperate. He was having a rough day, poor little dude.

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  4. sanil,

    Ummm..no?

    I think he's probably a rat snake. They've got the right pattern of scales and he wasn't aggressive and poisonous snakes tend to be more aggressive than the non. His head isn't the viper shaped head and I didn't see any rattles on the tail, so I feel comfortable ruling out baby rattler. But I could be wrong. He's very small so the rattle on the tail might have been too small to see. But really I think he was a baby rat snake.

    Whatever the species the plan was always to not get bitten. I changed out of my sweats and into blue jeans and my dad's hiking boots before I went out there. And if he'd been aggressive or I couldn't wrangle him on my own I planned to trap him somewhere and wait for my parents to get home so dad could help me with him.

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  5. Whatever the species the plan was always to not get bitten.

    :D Well, that's good! I was just curious about whether you were fairly certain it was safe to handle it. I don't see many snakes around here, and wouldn't know how to tell if one was poisonous, so I would call animal control or something just in case. I guess it doesn't help that I was taught as a kid that the poisonous snakes in this region look just like the non-poisonous ones, so I just assume by default that they can all kill you. I'm starting to get over this lately because for some reason I suddenly decided they're cute and that I want a corn snake as a pet, so I've been doing a little bit of research. Things aren't so scary once you actually learn about them. :)

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  6. Heh. Yeah, even without venom snake bites hurt. Those teeth are vicious and recurved so you have to push further into the mouth to get off the teeth before you can pry the mouth open to get whatever part of you they've got back. It's not pleasant.

    Fairly certain? Yes. While we do have plenty of poisonous snakes down here they don't usually hang out around people. You're more likely to encounter them in woods or on the water than in your house though it certainly does happen. If I had found him and I even thought that he was poisonous I would have killed him. I'd have felt bad about it, but I don't handle snakes all the time so I wouldn't have felt safe trying to catch and release something that might be able to kill me with one bite. The babies are just as, if not more, venomous as the adults.

    Typically, venomous snakes have heart shaped heads while non-venomous have dart shaped heads. The scale patterns, etc. can mimic venomous or non, so that doesn't always work well as identification.

    Some snakes I can look at and know that they're safe. Others *waggles hand*. I basically just let them all be, if possible. Growing up in Florida you develop a healthy respect for the wildlife. :)

    Corn snakes are very pretty. You do realize that you have to feed them live prey, right? I used to have a ball python for a pet and it freaked people right out that I just threw the cute little mousie in there for the snake to kill.

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  7. They are pretty! The first one I saw and really wanted was a king/corn hybrid so it had the corn snake pattern but with a dark grey background and it was really unique and cool-looking.

    Live prey - Really? All the sites I've been reading tell me that I shouldn't feed them live prey. They give a bunch of reasons, but the one that stood out to me was that a live mouse/rat could hurt the snake, especially if the rat isn't actually hungry enough to hunt it right away. They suggest using the frozen ones. Hm. I'll have to ask an actual...vet or something, whoever would know. I guess websites aren't the most trustworthy way to find information.

    I always remember an incident in 8th grade...one of my teachers had a larger snake (I don't remember what it was exactly. Boa? Is that even legal? Anyway.) and he also had cages of live rats that were used as food. I didn't mind much that he fed the snake the live rats, but there was one incident where he put a rat in while students were in the room taking a test. The snake apparently wasn't very hungry and didn't put a lot of effort into trying to catch the mouse, so the mouse kept escaping and hiding in a corner. After awhile the teacher came over and held the mouse in place, which seemed a little harsh and made it hard for me to focus on my work. Another time, a friend told me she was in the room during lunch to finish some work she had missed, and he dealt with the same problem by picking up the rat and slamming it against the desk to knock it out. I didn't like the teacher very much after that, and now that I have read that the mouse could hurt the snake I can understand having to do something like that...and I know there's no way I could. So if I actually do have to feed it live prey, that could be a deal-breaker.

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  8. Corrections -

    I meant to say if the snake wasn't hungry. You could probably figure that out, but it bugged me so here I am correcting myself. :D

    Also, in the last paragraph I used "rat" and "mouse" interchangeably for some reason. I know that they are not the same animal, and I meant to use rat throughout. Weird. I guess my traumatization over the poor little rats ruined my grammar.

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  9. It's been a while since I had the snake but when I got him I was told by the pet store and the snake books that it was best to feed them live prey. My snake wouldn't even eat the frozen mice when we tried it.

    It's true that the mouse or rat could hurt or even kill the snake if the snake isn't active or is actually hibernating. What we did was drop the mouse in and stay there to watch. If the snake didn't eat the mouse pretty quickly we'd take it out and keep it in a little tank with food, water, etc. and try again later. There were a couple of mice who we wound up just setting free into the wild because the snake wasn't eating.

    Boa's are legal. I have a cousin who has three or four of them and they sell them in pet stores. Generally. Not my cousins snakes - he doesn't breed them.

    Once or twice we had a really energetic/aggressive mouse and I had to slam it up against the side of the tank or something to stun it so it wouldn't hurt the snake while he was stalking and then killing it.

    You can try feeding your snake frozen animals if you get it. I know that some of them have no problem eating the already dead. But like I said, mine absolutely wouldn't. He had to kill it himself.

    I would definitely check around with a vet or even pet store employees.

    Snakes are neat and easy to take care of, but the live prey thing might be a big issue. We only got rid of mine because he got so big that we were concerned he'd be able to lift the top off his tank (even though we had it latched and weighted down - he was very strong) and go after one of our kittens. He was at the point where we almost could have started feeding him baby chickens. He'd gotten past mice and was into rats.

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  10. Oh yuck....now I have the heebie jeebies! Not because of the snake, but because of y'all talking about rats - live and frozen ones. *shudder*

    Please, please,please never document *that* for me. If you put it on a blog post, put a great big warning,

    "SUSANNE, DO NOT READ THIS!" :-)

    I just do not like rats/mice. To think you would handle those critters is ... wow.

    I'm impressed.

    Spiders I'm fine with. Snakes, they are OK if they aren't startling me. But rats and mice....ugh!

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  11. Sorry Susanne!

    No worries on my ever documenting that on the blog. I don't have a snake any more and given how terrified my mother is of them I don't plan on getting another one.

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