Strykette, the Rattlesnake
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. Mike and his wife got to work on him and had him free within about 30 minutes. After a while, she was in pretty good shape, looking and acting better than we thought she would but definitely not releasable.
Despite the many raw places on Strykette’s belly from the tape (we used alcohol as a solvent which worked well but he had already detached much of the keratinized outer layer of his belly scales, leaving them vulnerable to desiccation and infection) she has started acting and looking healthier. If we can keep her belly clean and infection-free while getting her to eat, I think her belly will heal with the next shed.
Strykette now lives at the Splash Center in Critterville. She is shy but also likes to come out and look at people. She had some trouble eating mice but has now become fully able to kill and eat its own food.