Tagged: “wildlife rehabilitation”
A quick video on a couple of prairie rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis) we took in today. Enjoy!
We have all seen them. Those cute little red-eared sliders and yellow-bellied sliders being sold either from a roadside stand or one of those gift shops in Florida. Well this is what that cheap little $10 turtle turns into. These are both yellow-bellied turtle (Trachemys scripta scripta). Adult shell vs hatchling. The hatchling was bought and later surrendered, with a second one, when the owner realized how big they get.
Road side sellers love to tell people they will stay small if kept in a small tank. Sure, because they get sick and die before they can reach full suze.
Aquatic turtles need a minimum of 10 gallons of physical water per every inch of shell length. PER TURTLE. The more water the better. Strong filtration is a must to keep their water clean. They also need room to get out of the water and bask, as well as strong UVA/UVB lighting.
So for example, the large one would need a minimum of 160 gallons of water and a 2 foot by 2 foot area to get out and bask.
A varied diet to include live native fish is also a must. Pelleted diets can be lacking the proper nutrition. NO GOLDFISH. They do eat a lot.
Aquatic turtles as a whole can make great display pets. But they must be set up properly. Red-eared sliders and yellow-bellied sliders are the number one surrendered pet to reptile rescues. A lot of rescues have even stopped taking them in due to already having way to many of them. And no, they can not just be returned to the wild or dumped in your neighborhood pond. It is illegal to do so for a few different reasons.
Just wanted to post an update in the young grey fox we took in back in October that was hit by a car and needed the back leg pinned. Great news, the leg looks great and the pin was removed last night. While she was under we did a thorough exam and I cleaned her ears out. Now for some exercise and chasing prey!
We received a call from a local Petco that when they came into work they found somebody had dumped three snakes in tubs in front of the store sometime before they got there.
The three snakes turned out to be a prairie kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster), a western ratsnake (Pantherolhis obsoletus) and an eastern ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) (formerly known as a yellow ratsnake).
All were in tubs that smelled horrible due to soaking wet bedding, had mold and fungus, dead and decaying rodents, flies and maggots. Tubs went immediately into the trash and snakes were bathed and cleaned up.
The western ratsnake has some mouth rot issues (see pictures) and part of the upper lip area is gone. She will go on antibiotics immediately with cleanings of the area every day.
The eastern ratsnake definitely is thin and needs a couple of good meals.
The prairie king actually looks good considering.
All were placed in quarantine for parasites after being cleaned up and examined.
All 3 are native to the US, the eastern rat being the only one not native to Texas. None can be released so they will join our education team when healthy enough to do so.
Okay I can not believe I even need to talk about this, but, due to recent phone calls and conversations I feel I must.
First off, rehabbing animals is NOT our job. Let me explain. Helping animals is what we do, but nobody pays us to do this. We actually pay for the privilege to help animals. We pay for the permits, food, medical supplies, heating, electricity, water, etc… Saying it’s a job would mean that somebody pays us to do this. There is no reimbursement from the state or feds for what we do. In fact, most rehabbers work a regular job besides rehabbing so that they can continue to rehab animals.
Second, we operate out of our home. Most rehabbers do. We can not afford a big rehab center. Wish we could. Most places that do have had said centers donated to them to operate out of. Operating out of ones home when it comes to caring for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife has it’s own unique set of challenges.
So to summarize, we operate off of our own back pockets, in kind donations, and sometimes we find small grants and other small projects such as education events to help offset costs.
So next time you call a rehabber and demand they come out to save an animal because “it’s their job”, please remember it’s not a job. It’s a passion to help animals in need due to human interactions. Don’t get mad at the rehabber and start yelling at them about how horrible of a person they are because they can not stop either working a job, helping somebody else with an injured animal, or caring for the animals already in their possession, to come and pick up an injured animal right in front of you.
Took in a brother/sister pair of Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) that somebody tried to rehab after their mother was killed. Not sure how big they were when the person got them, but it was very early spring. Now these two are morbidly obese (male weighed in at 14 pounds, female at 11) , very imprinted to people, have never been outdoors, never learned how to hunt or forage for themselves, and they were fed a very poor diet.
For size reference, Brandi is 5’4″ and holding them against her body in the pictures.
They have also been kept together the entire time so there is the possibility that the female may be pregnant as opossums reach sexual maturity at an early age due to their short lifespan.
These two will NOT be able to be rehabbed and released to the wild.
Situations such as this are why permits are needed to rehab wildlife. It ensures proper training in care and medical needs to return wildlife back to the wild.