04 September 2013, 13:04PM
We get all sorts on site in Chengdu, but never did I expect to hear the story that Adina Valentine, one of our wonderful veterinary nurses, would be incubating snakes in her bedroom!
This was an amazing "rescue" in anyone's books and passing over the blog now to Adina for the full story:
On the 17th of August 2013, the China Bear Rescue Centre had our first release!
No no, not a bear, but two "beauty rat snakes" (Orthriophis taeniurus).
After the flooding that hit our china centre, a small clutch of unidentified, badly disturbed and ruptured reptile eggs was discovered, two of the eggs were still whole and intact so I took took them and began incubating them in my bedroom!
We didn't hold out much hope for the survival of the eggs' inhabitants given the circumstances, but we felt the need to give them a go and at least try. The snake eggs were secured well (given that we did not know what species we were dealing with and there was the potential that they could be venomous!) and incubated in a sweet box with leaf mulch from the forest floor. The temperature and humidity levels were kept constant, and our patience was finally rewarded with two beautiful babies who made their appearance on 17th August at 21:30 hrs. As luck would have it, I was away but had an emergency video call with everyone gathered round, to determine the species - luckily they were the aptly named "Beauty Snake" and completely harmless!
Rushing back on site the next day, it was exciting to see them for the first time. The babies - named "Fluffy" and "Mr Squiggles" - were released back to the wild, (where they belong) - after myself and the other vet nurses checked that they were fit and healthy! - honestly these girls will use any excuse for a snuggle with their patients!
The babies slithered off into the rich bamboo forest to start their life of freedom.
Snakes are not raised by their parents like other animals, they hatch and are ready to "go" - so the girls did not have to spend any time teaching them how to slither or hunting skills (although we do think that this could have made for some interesting photos!)
Take a look at these fabulous siblings - Just another happy ending for animals in China!
[Top photo is Mr Squiggles; next is Fluffy.]
I was lucky enough to be on site at this time too, and thrilled to see the babies after they hatched. Absolutely beautiful - and fabulous too that Adina and team so intelligently and compassionately helped to enhance the biodiversity of our little place of peace in Chengdu.
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