Reptile rescue or the case of the grass snake on the pitchfork
Our volunteer, who is an intern at the Botanical Garden at Szent István University in Gödöllő, was asked to rescue an unusual animal for us.
While the litter from autumn leaves was cleared away a grass snake was injured. Unfortunately some students who were cleaning had stung the grass snake with a pitchfork. The small reptile was searching for a warm sleeping place for the winter among the litter because of the chilly weather and the dry leaves are brilliant for a grass snake. Many people don’t know the fact that grass snakes like swimming and hunting in the water but they spend most of their time on mainland. They are searching for a dry, warm hideaway in winter of even in auotum and they are coming out just in spring.
All in all, this poor creature was unlucky. It has found the wrong litter pile for warming up. These works almost became a tragedy for it. Not a smaller tool but a pitchfork stung it. In spite of this some interns gave it a first aid as soon as they realized what had happen. The injuries on the not really big grass snake were binded and asked for help.
To be honest that this kind rescue operation doesn’t occur every day in our office. Fortunately we knew who to ask. Our vet, Mátyás Liptovszky helped us many times for e.g. with Linda the baboon and Bruce the golden jackal. He knows everything about exotic pets and wild animals. We could never ask a thing from him or from his wife that they didn’t know the answer. It could be about how to grow up a marten which is just so young to eat alone or how to wire together a tortoiseshell after a car ran over the pet. They always helped us. So we called Matyi and his answer was “yes, come with it!”
A few hours later the beautiful reptile arrived to the Pet home and we moved it forward to Matyi.
The vet came, examined it and helped. He put the anesthetic mask to the face of the reptile which was too big for it. But it was fit for this purpose.
As soon as the animal was dazed the precision anesthetics could start.
All in all, the wound is not small, but what can we do after a big pitchfork (almost as big as the grass snake) stung the animal.
The possibility of a spinal injury was raised, so the grass snake was X-rayed first. The results were great and it turned out that no critical organs were injured.
Injures are not pretty but not hopeless. After a fast disinfection and putting back the “outlier parts” the sewing was started.
It was really minutes and needed attention in case of a grass snake. It is because the muscles are keystones under the epidermis in case of an animal without legs.
Fortunately the grass snake was sleeping calmly.
After some precise stitches we can say that it looks better than before.
The operation is ready. The grass snake has to wake up. It has started because the snake or I’d like to say the grass snake is rolling.
The waking up went good. The next days are going to be critical. If everything goes well the grass snake can get some food. It takes a few weeks to recover totally because reptiles are healing slower than mammals. It gets some antibiotics and pain killers. Matyi and his wife put the animal to a safe and calm place so we can do nothing else but waiting and cross our fingers for it.
There are many myths according to snakes or grass snakes. Many people are afraid of them. But everybody should accept that THEY are beautiful and perfect creatures.
Please cross your fingers for this reptile to have a positive end of this adventure. We are preparing to let it free on the same spot in the Botanical Garden in spring.
If anything happens to it until then we will let you know!
A Tetszik gomb eléréséhez sütik engedélyezése szükséges.