Woman Guards Snake From Attack. What Would You Have Done?


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!

Photo © Gerald Deboer | Dreamstime.com


W. C
W. Cabout a month ago

Thank you.

William C
William Cabout a month ago

Thanks for caring.

Karen Everton
Karen E3 years ago

great story. thank you

K H.
Kate H3 years ago

I would be a little nervous if I didn't know the species, but I would absolutely have to do something! Calling the staff was a good idea. I couldn't just walk by something like that. This makes me think, maybe I should bring some heavy gloves the next time I go to a wildlife habitat, just in case.

Dorothy Macnak
Dorothy M3 years ago

Wish I had time to give every snake rescuer a star, but only had time for the first page. Grateful for all of you.

Dorothy Macnak
Dorothy M3 years ago

I'm so glad for this woman and for all the wonderful people who mentioned here in the comments section that they have saved snakes. I've rescued rattle snakes out of window wells (even covered ones have gaps) and even re-located a few to the closed-for-reclamation section of a nearby park (with permission from authorities). I always figure that everybody's packaging is different, but inside there is spirit, and at that level, we are all one. Unfortunately, every so often I hear of a macho-man who beats a snake to death in our neighborhood (or traps squirrels or some other equally ridiculous and unnecessary wildlife "management"). Don't know what they are so afraid of.

Val M.
Val M3 years ago

I love snakes too. Years ago, a black snake was sunning himself on my front path and some unexpected visitors wanted to kill him. I said NO!

Kate R.
Past Member 3 years ago

I love snakes. I once rescued a grass snake that was stuck in the chink between two concrete blocks at the bottom of the wall of an old farm shed. Obviously, the blocks couldn't be modified with anything short of a hammer & chisel, which I didn't have, so I greased it with the butter from my lunch-time sandwich so it could slide free. It was a fine feeling watching it disappear into the undergrowth to live another day.

Kristie Hannan
Kristie Hannan3 years ago

Well done, I have also rescued snakes. They really are beautiful creatures but sadly misunderstood.

Dawn D.
Dawnie W3 years ago

I would knowing the good they do around farm sheds and buildings. When I was a wee girl my grandfather used to keep all the apples for the winter months in the old kitchen of my great great and great grand parents old slab house and a big eastern brown snake resided there and every day when the cows came home past there grandfather would lift his snake if it was out and about on the end of his pussy willow walking pole so he/she was out of the way of cows. Every once in a while he would take his snake a small dead rabbit, but the snake payed this kindness by watching the apples and being very docile for an eastern brown snake because they are deadly. He had the snake there for about 10 years and one day when no one was home a thief came and stole our apples and killed the old snake. Grandfather was so mad that they killed the snake because there was no need they could have pinched the apples and left snake alone, The only time a snake was ever killed around the main farm house was when we were all babies, snakes like the smell of babies and will get into prams or cots, a brown one tried to get in pram with my brother and Mum was screaming and yelling for dad to come, so a close eye is needed on farm. Mum was neurotic about snakes.