Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Snake Called "Hiss"

Hiss became part of our family 2 times this past summer. The first time we found him was during a tee ball game. I should have been watching the game, but I slipped away for a couple innings to the nearby woods and flipped some boards and rocks (I can't resist). When I flipped the rock that Hiss was under, it sounded like someone started letting the air out of a tire. He was a real windbag. He had a cool personality. After hissing loudly, he would then snuggle up against your warm skin. The kids loved him. I brought Hiss home because construction was closing in on all 4 sides of his habitat and I figured my relocation would be friendlier than what would happen when someone else found him (Note: a 6.5 foot snake skin was found near some construction discard. This was probably from Hiss's mama). Even though gopher snakes are very common in Utah, every kid within miles of our home came to see the snake that hissed. After a while and for no apparent reason, Hiss quit eating. I tried a lot of tactics to get him to eat, but he wouldn't. I realized that it was time to return him to the wild, but on the day that I went to release him in a good spot I couldn't find him anywhere. The clamps were on the cage properly, but somehow he had squeezed out of the small corner crack or something. After a couple months went by, we had forgotten about Hiss. Then my mother-in-law came over one day and found him on our front porch. He was a little bigger, so he had been eating something. He also had a recent flesh wound on his back that looked like chew marks. This wound was probably from a mama mouse defending her babies. Finding him again was cool, but we still had to find him a home. We let him go on an outing in a perfect spot that was a long way away from roads. I flipped some rocks and found a mouse nest under one. That was the perfect new home for Hiss. Most of the pictures were taken on the day we released him. We wish him well and maybe we will see him again. Perhaps there will be another Hiss post next summer. (Note: Hiss is a Gopher Snake and his pattern of light and dark rectangles is typical of the countless Gopher Snakes around here)


Anonymous said...

I just caught a gopher snake just yesterday, about 5 feet long & really wide!!!! It was awesome!

Anonymous said...

We cought a gopher snake about an hour ago. It was for sure a baby and it was about a foot long. It was very small, skinny and very, very fast!! My neighbor put him in a cage and dont know what to do with it. We found him in our very busy neighborhood where many kids play.

Robby said...

Gopher snakes make great pets and will usually eat the frozen/thawed mice that you can get at pet stores. There is also a lot of info available for the proper care of most snakes.