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Funny story from an ER

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Posted by: rcreek at Sat Oct 26 01:29:31 2013  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by rcreek ]  
   

I work in an Emergency Department, and a concerned mother brought in a snake she thought was a baby rattlesnake. She said her boys had caught it and that it had bitten one of them several times. Rattlers are also endemic to the area and we have had a few bites this year, so I was expecting it to indeed be a rattler. I was initially surprised to see it was still alive in a small container (if you think it's a rattler wouldn't you have killed it rather than risk another bite?).

Anyway, when I looked closer I immediately id'd it as a hatchling Great Basin Gopher Snake, and informed her of the differences between a young rattlesnake vs a young gopher snake. It made a buzzing noise with its tail against the container and made its head look very triangular in a threat display. It took some convincing and explanation on my part to ensure her that it was a harmless, helpful snake that likes to put on a show, gets big, and eats a ton of rodents.

I was struck by the sharply contrasting, clean pattern on this particular snake, as well as a unique cross-like shape on the head. She said she wanted me to take it or she was going to get rid of it (probably kill it), so I obliged.

I considered releasing the snake, but I didn't know where to do so with the sudden cold snap. The snake was found around a home probably trying to get some warmth and hole up somewhere. I have not had snakes in years, but decided to get out the old terrarium, undertank heater, heat lamp, water bowl, etc.

I have had it about a week and it is still very ornery, but I am happy to say that it finally consumed a thawed pinkie mouse on my second attempt. This time I vigorously shook it in its face with the feeding tongs, with the lights down so that the snake would not pay attention to me and freak out.

I am happy to have a nice young specimen eating thawed pinkies already. I don't know how long I will keep it, but it could make a great pet or potential breeder some day. I even decided to go ahead and get another hatchling - an amelanistic reverse oketee corn snake some guy sold me for $20. He even delivered.

I will consider posting a pic soon.


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: Funny story from an ER - reako45, Sat Oct 26 06:01:10 2013
>> Next Message:  RE: Funny story from an ER - BobS, Sat Oct 26 18:52:26 2013
>> Next Message:  RE: Funny story from an ER - rcreek, Sun Oct 27 21:11:01 2013