||Ball Python (Python regius)|
is a very lucky and determined snake. My reptile club has an
adoption program that works with the Humane Society, this is how I
came to have her placed in my home in September of 1999.
When I received the phone call about Stubby, no one was certain of
the species or how extensive her health problems were. I drove to the
director of the Humane Society's house to pick her up. I was
certainly not expecting to see such an abused animal. Stubby had
virtually no front upper lip left, possibly from rubbing her nose
inside of the enclosure she was in to escape. She had a 1/2 inch of
exposed vertebra on the end of her tail, where a rat had eaten away
at her. On her body, she had two layers of unshed skin, as well as
two layers of unshed eye caps. There were various minor wounds and
old scars in various places on her body. She wheezed with every
breath, an indication of the severe respiratory she had savaging her
body. She was also severely dehydrated.
With all of these problems, the lack of sight, the unhealthy
conditions, many snakes would have been somewhat aggressive. Stubby
seemed to be very content around the neck of the director, and was
very docile. I was not certain that she would make it, in fact I was
not very optimistic at all, but I told the director that I would try.
I also told her not to be surprised if I had to bring her back to be
So Stubby came home with me. She was put in a quarantine tank, with
proper heating and lighting. She was given a water bowl large enough
to soak in if she wanted to. When she immediately took a long drink
from the bowl, I felt encouraged. She was also given a large hide
box. She put up with the shedding sessions where she was oiled down
with olive oil to soften her skin, with the doctoring sessions for
her nose and tail wounds and the force feeding sessions to get her
energy back up without a single hiss. We had several breakthroughs in
the next couple of months. The day she shed her eye caps, the day her
exposed vertebra fell off, leaving a clean, healthy stump (hence her
name), and the day that she ate on her own. And here we are, three
months later, and I have a very healthy, very docile snake. I can not
believe the improvement she has shown. I am quite proud of this very
lovely, very mellow snake, and I just wanted for everyone to see her.
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