Baby snake with broken spine getting help

A baby snake with a broken back is getting some TLC at a Regina wildlife rehabilitation centre.

Among 102 seized from a Regina-area property on weekend

This little snake is still sliding around, although it has a broken spine. Salthaven West Animal Rehabilitation hopes it will heal, but is not yet sure if it will be able to survive in the wild. (CBC)

A baby snake with a broken back is getting some TLC at a Regina wildlife rehabilitation centre.

The Twizzler-sized garter snake, believed to be a few weeks old, was one of 102 found on the weekend inside a rural home northwest of the city.

All of the snakes are now in terrariums at Salthaven West Animal Rehabilitation Centre and most are in good condition.

Megan Lawrence, the director of rehabilitation at Salthaven West Animal Rehabilitation, says predators would make quick work of the baby snake if it was released to the wild unhealed. (CBC)

But one little fellow is moving a little slower than the rest.

"It was pinned under something in the basement. Something had fallen on it," said Megan Lawrence, spokeswoman for the centre.

It turned out to have some broken vertebrae.

Its woes had to be on the back burner for a bit while its cousins were moved out of the building.

According to Lawrence, the family had snakes turning up not only in the basement, but also in cracks in the walls and in the kitchen and bedrooms.

Anyone who picked a shirt or towel up off the floor was at risk of finding one the serpents writhing underneath.

Most are in good shape and the centre hopes to release them back into the wild — at some distance from the house — before the snow flies. 

The plan is to find them a suitable place, such as a marsh or an abandoned barn, where they can stay warm during the winter months.

But the little snake with the broken spine may become a permanent resident at the centre, which has also cared for a baby porcupine and an injured bald eagle in recent weeks.

Lawrence said it's otherwise healthy and may yet heal, so fingers are crossed.

In the meantime, they're keeping a close eye on it — and administering painkillers.

More than 100 snakes were found in a house northwest of Regina on the weekend. (CBC)


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