REGINA, Saskatchewan — It’s a home Indiana Jones wouldn’t want to live in, and it might give most of us an anxiety attack.
More than a 100 snakes were found inside a home, and they’re all being rescued.
“We were finding them basically anywhere – in the cracks of the stone foundation, under the floor, under some boxes and other things – and we just were picking them up in pillow cases and putting them into a bucket just to count them,” Megan Lawrence of Salthaven West Wildlife Rehab said on Tuesday.
Lawrence doesn’t usually have to search for the animals she rescues, but the call she got this weekend was a bit unusual.
“The family contacted us when they found a few garter snakes in their basement, and then they started finding more and more. And then they were finding them in their kitchen and the bedrooms. And they decided it wasn’t a good idea to have them there anymore.”
Lawrence helps rehabilitate animals at the rehab center. She took stock of all the serpents they gathered and brought them back to shelter.
“And the final tally — we had 102 by the end of the weekend,” she said.
“I get a feeling that’s about a normal count, so 100 garter snakes in the basement would not surprise me,” Ray Poulin of Royal Saskatchewan Museum said.
Knowledgeable about snakes, he said it’s far from unusual for people to find plains garter snakes that came inside. It’s actually the most common call he receives when snakes are hunting for a warm place to spend the winter.
“Usually the snakes at this time are going down, right? So they’re coming up to your house and going straight down one of the cracks in the soil around your house and finding a way in that way usually,” Poulin said.
In this case, that’s exactly what these garter snakes did at this house.
Now Lawrence has 102 new mouths to feed and take care of, possibly for the winter unless she can clear them for release in the wild before they start hibernation.
“They eat things in the wild such as fish, earthworms, frogs and small rodents and insects, so we could use things like donations toward earth worms and minnows to feed them for the winter if we’re going to keep them,” she said.