Eastern Ratsnake

PATIENTEastern Ratsnake, #11-0644 LOCATION OF RESCUE:  Stuarts Draft, VA CIRCUMSTANCE OF ADMISSION:   Caught in screen door ADMISSION DATE:  May 10, 2011 OUTCOME:  Released May 22, 2011 On May 10, a juvenile Eastern Ratsnake was accidentally shut in a sliding screen door of a house in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.  The homeowner brought the snake in to the Wildlife Center for identification.  Snakes, especially juveniles, are often brought into the Center for identification -- though not all arrive alive.  Fortunately in this case, the homeowner didn't mind the snake -- he was just genuinely curious! Juvenile Eastern Ratsnakes are often mis-identified because they don't resemble their adult counterparts -- their gray and black patterns are often confusing.  According to the Virginia Herpetological Society, juvenile Eastern Ratsnakes are the snakes that are most often inquired about.  Of the many snake identification requests VHS received in 2010, 44% turned out to be juvenile Eastern Ratsnakes. This particular ratsnake also exhibited some classic defense behavior -- when it came into the Center, it flattened its head into a triangle and was rattling its tail against the bucket that it was transported in.  These behaviors mimic those of venomous snakes -- which again can be misleading.  But it certainly gets the job done of convincing others to leave the snake alone! The veterinarians performed a quick examination and found that the snake did have a laceration on its back.  Dr. Miranda cleaned the wound and started the snake on anti-inflammatories.  The following day, she applied two sutures to the wound.  So far, the snake is healing well -- and is quite feisty!    If all continues to go well, the sutures will be removed during the week of May 16 -- and the snake will be released back in the same area in which it was found. Your donation will help support the Center’s work with patients like this snake … and with 2,300 other wild animals in need.

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