Pete is a Yellow Racer garter snake. A friend of ours who is very knowledgeable about snakes came over to help teach us how to take care of Pete and brought us a big snake tank he didn’t need. He spent a lot of time handling Pete and ended up telling us far more than we could have hoped about the baby snake. He’s about one year old. He hadn’t eaten, most likely, since before the new year. He had puncture wounds on him most likely from a small rodent. If Max hadn’t have brought him home, out of the wild, he would probably die.
We have him in a small terrarium for the moment. Robert and Shanta (our friends who keep snakes and are our snake advisers) said to leave him in the small terrarium until he’s eaten. He finally did eat a tadpole. You could have heard my shouts and screams of joy from a mile away. Snakes are not frequent eaters (once a week generally, or in the wild, whenever they can catch a meal) but six months of no food is not good for any snake. Because I’m a phenomenally anxious person I have kept Pete in the smaller terrarium for longer because I want him to eat TWO meals before getting used to a brand new environment (which may cause him to refrain from eating again until he’s adjusted- hey- snakes sound just like me!) (Except for the whole eating dealio. I tend to eat at least two times a day. Sometimes more. And I don’t eat tadpoles as a general rule.)
Garter snakes ARE venomous but their venom doesn’t happen to be toxic to humans. Their teeth are like a ridge of cartilage and don’t easily break human skin. Pete did finally bite Max and he said it tickled.
It is the sweetest thing in the world to see how gentle Max is with Pete and how much he enjoys him. Most nights he brings Pete out just before bed so we can all say good night to him. I think it’s good for a young boy’s soul to watch over an animal of his own.