Call it "snakes on the plains." A Canadian wildlife rescue group recently collected — get this — 102 garter snakes from a single Regina, Saskatchewan home after the serpents sought shelter there for the winter. The largest snake was about three feet long — and there are still more inside the house.
It's not uncommon for snakes to seek good hibernation spots as winter sets in; they desperately need to find a place beneath the frost line before it gets too cold, and houses often present some prime real estate opportunities.
But 102 snakes — and counting — in a single household is rather ridiculous. And according to the wildlife group that retrieved them, it's also quite unprecedented for the region.
The snakes were collected by a team from the Salthaven West Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre. The group's director, Megan Lawrence, had this to say in a CBC article:
"We got a call from a family that found some garter snakes in their basement, and as they investigated further they found a lot more. And then they started finding them in other areas of the house, like kitchens and bedrooms. So they decided then it wasn't a good idea to have them there anymore."
Lawrence said the family eventually reached her, and she and her partner went to check out the house.
"They were starting to end up everywhere in the house but in the basement. For the most part they were in tight spaces. Cracks in the floors, cracks in the walls, between boxes, underneath things — anywhere they could get into basically."
She said they weren't really hiding, and they weren't moving very quickly because some of them had apparently settled in for the winter.
"They were already starting to go into hibernation," she said. "So we just were, you know, picking up boxes and things off the floor and just found them and just caught them by hand. And then we were transporting them in buckets and pillowcases."
A total of five pillowcases were required. They were then transferred into a bucket so the snakes could be counted and measured. The largest was nearly one meter (3 feet) long, and the shortest about 22 cm.
Lawrence says she knows more snakes are hiding in the house. They're going to keep collecting them for relocation to a wildlife shelter in the city's northwest.
Read the entire article at the CBC.