SAN MATEO — Cyrus was suffering from an ugly, gaping wound on her back when she arrived at the Peninsula Humane Society on April 28.
The society believes the roughly 3-foot-long ball python was gnawed by a rat that was supposed to be dinner during the snake’s stay with a careless owner who later abandoned her in Daly City.
Staff veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Roberts estimated that the wound, which exposed several vertebrae, covered about quarter of the surface of the snake’s body. Still, Roberts figured she could save it.
Two surgeries and several months of treatment later, Cyrus is completely healed and ready for adoption. The only reminders of the docile snake’s ordeal are some scarring on the back and a stubby tail, about two inches of which had to be amputated.
“It’s very satisfying,” Roberts said of Cyrus’ recovery. “I’m very, very happy for her. It was a very dramatic case.”
During the first surgery, performed shortly after the snake was found in a residential area near Susan B. Anthony Elementary School, Roberts removed dead tissue and portions of the vertebrae before sewing up the wound.
Humane Society exotics specialist Marisa Burman said the injury was likely caused by a rat that was placed in Cyrus’ cage for the snake to eat. But the python was probably too sick to eat it, so the rat turned on the snake and gnawed it half to death.
Despite the trauma, Cyrus is placid and easy to handle.
“She’s very used to being handled by us,” Burman said. “She’s friendly and tame.”
Burman said anyone who wants to adopt Cyrus should have a 40- to 50-gallon tank with proper heating and an enclosed area where the snake can hide. Cyrus is mostly full-grown. Ball pythons typically grow to a maximum of 3 to 5 feet.
The Humane Society has been feeding Cyrus dead rats that are stored in a freezer and then thawed. Cyrus should not be fed live prey, because the circumstances of her injury may have made her “gun shy,” Roberts said.
The society currently has a second ball python named Wilma who is also up for adoption. Wilma is a surrendered pet. She is about six months old and about 1.5-feet long. The adoption fee for each snake is $25.
Ball pythons are native to Africa. They take their name from a tendency to curl up into a ball when threatened.
To adopt Cyrus, Wilma or any other animal at the Peninsula Humane Society, call 650-340-7022 or visit the shelter in person at 12 Airport Blvd. in San Mateo.
from The Mercury news
This is a sunshinestory for the snake, isn´t it..?
I mean, the snake got well after being treated badly..
Still.. It makes me think. What person would do this to a snake, or any animal by the way. And the poor rat!
As you probably allready figured out, I am a reptilekeeper myself. And I really get mad when I hear / read this kind of stories. Sure, the animal got better. But my point is, that snake shouldn´t have gotten hurt at all. The ones of us reptilekeepers that breed and sell og give away out offspring, have a responsibility to the young animals we are offering. Don´t just sell it off, for the greens! Talk a bit with your customer.. Find out a bit how serious he / she is about the animal in question.. It may actually save some effect..
Think about it..