Written by Anne Gayler of Orange County, New York
I live in a 200-year-old house right by a stream. A pipe leads from the basement into the stream to deal with the occasional flood.
One day while in the basement I noticed that ‘someone’ had thrown all the tools off my workbench and onto the floor. I wondered, “Who could have done that?”
Tools were scattered everywhere. I started to put them back and then recoiled with a shriek. The culprit was a two foot snake. The poor thing was almost near death. He had crawled onto the workbench, probably in search of mice, and had tried to slither through some bird netting. Instead he became horribly entangled. Wads of netting were wound around in his mouth, around his neck and strangulating his body. His struggles had been violent enough to throw the tools onto the floor…but he hardly had the strength to move at this point.
I Raced Upstairs
I raced upstairs for the scissors. Carefully, I took him by the neck right below the head and started cutting the netting off, starting from the tail end. There was a moment of fear when he suddenly regained strength and wound himself around my arm. I gently unwound him and continued until I got to the neck. I had almost all the netting off his neck when with amazing strength he wrested himself away from me and fled toward the pipe hole. But he was still in trouble. A ruff of netting was still wound around his neck and twisted inside his mouth. And now here’s the amazing part. He turned and faced me and stood still.
Talking to him, very slowly and quietly, I approached him. He let me get close enough so that I could grab the ruff of netting around his neck and I held on while he struggled backward to get out of it, which he did! One last look and down the pipe he went. I was left feeling very gratified that he had somehow realized I was his friend and had allowed me to help him.
Use Netting With Caution
This snake is among many animals who get trapped in netting each year. Squirrels, chipmunks, birds and other wildlife frequently become entangled in outdoor netting. If you use netting in your garden be sure to inspect it at dawn and dusk and wear protective gear if you need to engage in a rescue.
Have You Swallowed Fear to Save a Life?
If you’ve overcome fear in order to help an animal in need, we’d love to hear your story. Log on to The Great Animal Rescue Chase website and tell us about your rescue mission and share photos if you have them. Every day one special hero is featured here on Care2.com and the next one might just be you.