Reptilian Rescue

Spring is a the time when young snakes, hatched or born last year, are seen moving about the unfamiliar landscape on their way to their summer haunts, wherever that may be. Sometimes, they need a little help in getting there.

I received a call on my radio from Animal Keeper Erin Brown about one such sidetracked snake. This young snake wiggled into the Black Bear House, the bear’s nighttime quarters. It was a Northern Water Snake.

A young Northern Water Snake that had wandered into the Black Bear House.
The little snake put up quite a fight, but Erin subdued the slithering creature, for its own good of course.

Erin deftly captured the tiny snake. Water snakes, even little water snakes, bite when picked up. Water snakes are non-venomous, but the biting behavior is still something to consider when picking up one of these little dynamos. Erin persevered.

Erin expressing her joy and excitement at capturing the wayward water snake.
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Animal Keeper Erin releases the snake at the edge of the Wetlands, wishing it a safe journey.
The young water snake quickly slithers off towards the water.

Good job, Erin!

Erin holds a freshly hatched Yellow-bellied Slider (Erin’s gloves are a precaution against spreading any diseases that the little turtle may have to the Museum’s captive turtles).

The next day, a Museum Guest stopped Erin and gave her a tiny Yellow-bellied Slider that he had found walking along the pavement in Catch the Wind near the Sailboat Pond.

Again, with enthusiasm and dedication, Erin set forth to release the turtle into the waters of the Wetlands.

Erin, obviously excited to be helping this turtle make its way into the water amongst the other Yellow-bellied Sliders, Painted Turtles, and other Testudines of the Wetlands.
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The turtle is released on the north side of the Wetlands.
The little hatchling happily making its way to the water.

As the turtle made its way through the grass and leaf litter towards its new home in the Wetlands, I swear that I saw it glance back towards Erin and wink.

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