2021 Year in Review: Kai Medina, Outreach Communications Coordinator

It’s time to look back on 2021! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2021 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Many activities at the Center were put on hold because a snake would not eat an egg.

It’s trivial to say exactly when World Egg Day was, being a holiday so celebrated in every home around the globe. But, on the odd chance someone doesn’t observe such a beautiful, influential, and impactful day, our story takes place on October 14, 2021. We just had to act! We needed a show to celebrate such a day and Albus was just the Eastern Ratsnake for the job.

The cameras were rolling and hundreds, eventually turning into thousands tuned in over Facebook Live. It was now or never. Albus was placed in an enclosure with an egg laid that very same day by Bubbles the chicken. 

This was my second week at the Center. Prior to working here, I had held a snake only once before, belonging to my brother. The snake’s name was Fluffy, and I froze up immediately when holding it. This wasn’t for me. Years later, I found myself here, newly trained and holding Oscar, Clifford, Elliot, Severus, and Albus (not all at once of course). It was pretty great.

I was the one who held Albus moments before World Egg Day commenced. I closed the door on the enclosure, and I joined the nation in watching as Albus tested the egg. He approached it. He booped it. He slithered around, past, and over it. His tongue sensed every portion of the egg possible. My phone was going off with friends and family glued to their screen in anticipation.

One injury we’ll sometimes observe in snakes brought to the Wildlife Center stems from them attempting to eat an egg. Farmers will use wooden or porcelain eggs placed in a chicken coop to motivate the hens into laying more eggs. The chickens think they see eggs present, so they start laying their own. Sometimes, however, a snake comes by, thinks it sees a tasty treat, and ends up getting the fake egg stuck down its throat. Farmers can combat this by securing the eggs so they can’t be swallowed or using different measures to encourage egg-laying. 

Albus, however, was not interested in the bonafide, real, and scrumptious Bubbles-laid egg that day. 

To quote the characters in which our two education Eastern Ratsnakes were named after:

     “After all this time?” [asked Albus.]

     “Always,” said Snape.

It was time for Severus to take to the stage.

Albus went back home, and Severus began eating the egg. If only it were that easy. 

Everyone at the Center had a tab open on their computers for this livestream event. We kept on with our daily duties but watched because a snake was eating an egg. The daily rounds, where vet staff meet and discuss patients, had to be moved to another room, for in the library, a snake was eating an egg. We all gasped and cried (or maybe we just gasped), for the snake spit out the egg, and then engulfed it once more. 

If Bubbles were present at the scene of the crime, Severus would have been caught long ago. It took a whole hour and twenty minutes to fully complete his mission. 

The snake ate the egg. 

What a job. 

 

 

--Kai Medina, Outreach Communications Coordinator

Check out all of our year-in-review posts!

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