PATIENT: Northern Ring-necked Snake, #11-1749
LOCATION OF RESCUE: Waynesboro, Virginia
CIRCUMSTANCE OF ADMISSION: Entrapment
ADMISSION DATE: July 19, 2011
OUTCOME: Released on July 20, 2011
On July 19, a Waynesboro resident found a very tiny snake on her daughter's porch -- a Ring-necked Snake. The young snake had somehow managed to entangle itself in a piece of hair and other debris. The thin piece of hair that was wrapped around the snake's neck was incredibly hard to see -- instead, the rescuer thought that perhaps the snake had something caught around its tongue, since the mouth was open and the snake was sticking its tongue out. She quickly brought the ring-necked snake to the Wildlife Center.
Dr. Miranda took one look at the exceptionally small patient and got to work. Under the bright surgical lights at the WCV, she was able to spot the offending piece of hair and quickly snipped it away using surgical scissors. Once free of the entanglement, the snake stopped writhing and closed its mouth. Rather than a quick release, Dr. Miranda opted to observe the snake for the day just to ensure there was no lasting trauma.
Northern Ring-necked snakes are found state-wide in Virginia and consume earthworms, small lizards, and salamanders. Though they can grow to be as long as 20 inches, the eggs that the females lay each summer are about the width of a penny. This young snake must have been hatched fairly recently -- it weighed in at just under a gram, roughly the same weight as a paperclip. The next morning, the snake appeared to be bright and alert -- so Dr. Miranda cleared it for release.
The rescuer and her grandson came to pick up the snake to return it to where it was originally found.