The snake rescuer

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Sandra Porter

Yesterday morning I was sitting at conference table, downing coffee to keep my eyes open, when I heard someone say that it's springtime now and the snakes are waking up. Well, those kinds of statements at the breakfast table do have a way of getting my attention.

I turned sideways and realized the words were coming from a high school science teacher, that I know, from Arizona.

"Snakes hibernate?"

"Sure," she said, "and people who move here in the winter time are pretty surprised when a snake wakes up and crawls out from under their porch."

A few other questions and everyone at the table found out that she knew quite a lot about snakes. In fact, she rescues snakes - usually rattlesnakes.

People find a rattlesnake at their house, they call the snake rescue group, and she drives out to their house and rescues the snake. Sometimes she has to give the snakes a drink of water or soak them in water a bit, if the snake is dehydrated. Sometimes she can immediately take the snake somewhere else. She said that snakes have a hard time surviving, though, if they get moved more than a mile away from their home. Rattlesnakes are very territorial and they can be killed by another snake if they enter the wrong territory.

She also educates homeowners about snakes. If they have a gopher snake or a king snake, for example, she encourages the homeowners to keep the snake, since the king and gopher snakes keep the rattlers out of the territory. She also said that young snakes are the most dangerous since they're more likely to lose their heads and bite.

We were all entertained by her amazing tales of snakes in her house and the large athletic guys that would call for help only to stare in amazement when a young woman came to their rescue.

Got a snake? Call the snake rescuers.