Sometimes even the best of animal lovers will hesitate to draw too near to a snake and perhaps that’s what makes this next story so wonderful. American Mary Dyer, like many of us, has never been comfortable around snakes. But when she found one in desperate need, she refused to leave its side until help arrived.
First-Hand Account By Mary Dyer
On Friday, we went to the Wildlife Safari in Nebraska. As we were coming back from the wolf sighting area, my companion Sheryl pointed out the tail of a garter snake on one side of a chicken-wire fence. Seeing flies on it, I assumed it was dead, but when I looked over the fence, I could tell it was conscious and alert. It turned out that its stomach was bigger than its eyes, and when it had tried to pass through the fence, its newly-swallowed breakfast caused it to get stuck. Unable to move either forward or backward, the Prairie garter snake was fair game not only for the flies that were landing on its torn scales but of any predator that might happen by.
We called the emergency number for the facility’s staff and they said they were sending someone soon, so I settled down next to the snake to keep brushing away the flies. After a half hour, no one had come so we left to go find the staff ourselves. We finally found the director, who said they had been having trouble locating the snake. He had us hop on his golf cart and we zipped right up there just as three crew members from Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha arrived, one with a very large pruner.
I told them that it was too big to slip in between the snake and the fencing, so finally they got some needle-nosed pliers and extricated the frightened snake from the fencing. They took it back to the zoo to stay until it was fully recovered. It was certainly worth an hour of our time to give this beautiful animal a second chance at life.
So What Would You Have Done?
Would you put aside your own plans for an hour to help a snake in distress? Are reptiles just as deserving of our compassion and respect as mammals? Share your thoughts and your thanks to Mary in the comments section below. And if you have a special rescue story and photos to share, please visit us at The Great Animal Rescue Chase. You never know who you might inspire!