My crew loves animals. In fact, animals run our lives (or at least, it feels this way most days). We have 5 cats, 1 dog, 1 bird and 1 fish who live with us permanently. Notice the permanently. Rarely are those the only animals that we have in our house. Over the years, the kids have “saved” skinks, preying mantises, frogs, birds, and numerous bugs. Most notably though was the rescue of Sticky, the black racer.
One afternoon my children rode their bikes through the woods and saw our neighbor with a snake that was caught in a trap. They thought that the snake was dead, and they moved on. When they rode past the snake the following day, they noticed that the snake moved a little bit. Immediately, the kids rode home and went into action. Mainly, they came and got me to help the snake.
The snake was stuck in one of those sticky mouse traps.It was obviously chasing a salamander, which also meant that the snake was hungry. The malnourished snake was exhausted and dehydrated and seriously stuck. After a quick internet search (what did we do before the internet?), I found that olive oil could be used to gently remove the adhesive from the snake. After an hour of carefully oiling and pulling, the snake was free of the trap. Unfortunately, he was not moving much.
The kids were not tolerating the thought of the snake perishing on its own. Thus, we started making phone calls. The first call made was to our friends at Latta Plantation. They gave us some terrific advice and forwarded us onto a rare animal vet. With our new information, we placed “Sticky” into a container with a nice shallow bowl filled with water. It soaked in the water for hours. Over the next two days, we worked on removing all of the adhesive from its scales and re-hydrating it.
After 48 hours, we released Sticky under a bush in our backyard. We thought that it was going to go well. That evening Parks went out to check on him and found three of our cats surrounding the poor little snake. We immediately scooped him up and put him back into the container. The next day we went into the woods and placed Sticky under a log and some leaves. To the best of our knowledge, Sticky is slithering around the woods happily. We learned a lot in that 72 hours, and something tells me that it won’t be the last time that we will need that knowledge.