In December 2015, Wildlife Biologist Mike Cardwell contacted
Splash’s Critter Keeper to inform her of a 3-month old
rattlesnake that was brought into Folsom Zoo, the rattlesnake had
been discovered badly stuck in package tape adhesive inside
a plastic jar containing hardware. After some hasty phone
calls, one of the zoo’s volunteers met with Mike at Effie
Yeaw Nature Center to deliver the baby snake.
Tweedle Dee III has been a Splash critter for most of his life.
He joined the Critterville team as a tadpole three years ago and
is now our resident Bull Frog. Tweedle Dee III will occasionally
male bull frog call sound when he hears a loud noise or
vibration, like the vacuum cleaner. He has a ravenous
appetite and, when he sees anything move, he instinctively tries
to eat it.
The Splash Center has several resident Pacific Chorus Frogs that
were donated to Splash after being kept as pets for many years.
The Pacific Chorus Frog is the only green or brown frog in our
area with a dark “mask” across its eyes and “suction cups” on its
toes. Often called the Pacific Treefrog, it uses these toe pads
to help climb plants, trees, even walls and windows!
Mr. Toad was dropped off at an area pet shop after having been in
captivity for many years. When wild animals are kept in captivity
for so long, they often lose their ability to survive in the
wild, so Mr. Toad found a permanent home at Splash. Mr. Toad is
at least 6 years old and Western Toads in captivity have been
known to live as long as 36 years!
The Spadefoots at Splash were captured when they were just
tadpoles. They were very slow to metamorphose, or change, into
adults. By the time they were young adults, their vernal pool was
too dry for them to be released because they would not be able to
dig down and bury themselves to survive the dry phase.
Toothless is our living example of what larval Tiger Salamanders
would look like. They are actually not Tiger Salamanders at all,
but a very similar species of salamander called the Axolotl. This type of salamander is
originally from Mexico and is close to extinction in the wild.
Mr. Wizard was found on the tile floor of one of the restrooms at
Splash. He was unable to move about on the slick floor and had
become very weak and dehydrated. He responded very well to
treatment and it was decided to let him permanently reside at
Sir Hiss-a-Lot was hatched sometime around 1993. When Sir Hiss
was a baby snake, he was captured by a boy who didn’t know that
you should never keep a wild animal as a
pet. Nonetheless, the boy took excellent care of him
for about 10 years. When the young man went off to college, his
mom didn’t want to take care of Sir Hiss by herself.
LeRoy was just a baby when he was injured at a construction site
by a large piece of heavy equipment called a backhoe. The
construction workers took the time to rescue LeRoy and rushed him
to a wildlife rehabilitator, who then took him to a veterinarian
to determine the extent of his injuries. X-rays showed that LeRoy
had a fractured spine, or in other words, a broken back.
Thumper was found near the river when he was about 4 weeks old.
He was very tiny and could fit in the palm of your hand. He had
been mauled by a dog or coyote and had multiple wounds on his
back. Interestingly, it was obvious that he experienced some
human contact because his wounds had been treated with an
old-fashioned disinfectant called “gentian violet”, which leaves
a very obvious purple stain.
Solitary Bees generally only collect pollen and nectar from a
single species of plant (or from a few closely-related
plants). Researchers have discovered that vernal pool
Solitary Bees can hibernate underground for up to four years,
waiting for the 2-3 weeks when their host plant is in bloom.