Written by Dana Stangel of Teranga Ranch of Sunland, California
I run the Teranga Ranch reptile rescue. This means I get calls of all kinds, from many places, to take in an animal in need.
Recently we got a call from a volunteer at a local shelter. They had a pet snake that had come in as a stray, and did not have the facilities to really care for it. I drove the 45 minutes to go get the snake, got him into his pillowcase and carrier, then noticed the enclosure next to the one he came out of. There was no lid on it, so there couldn’t be a snake in there. But there was movement. I looked again. It was a small white mouse.
I asked the technician what that was about. She said they tried to feed the mouse to the snake in that enclosure, but he wouldn’t eat it. I asked what was to become of the mouse. She kind of shrugged as she didn’t know. Shelters don’t get snakes in every day, so there was no protocol for live food. I knew what I had to do. I asked her for a cardboard box, scooped the mouse up, and named him Lucky. Our rescue does NOT feed live food. The shelter did not realize it, but “live food” can actually injure or even kill the snake you are feeding it to. Those burrowing teeth and nails can be hard on a fragile snake.
You’ll be happy to know that the kingsnake ate just fine once he got to the rescue and was offered food that was already dead.
When I got online and told our amazing group of supporters the story, they graciously jumped in with donations to make his life more comfortable: a mouse enclosure, 3 lixit bottles, and a wheel and a ball. Lucky is still here and up for adoption! (See more here)
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