by Jim Boyle
Homes are being found for two abandoned snakes who were apparently left for dead on the side of Yankton Street near Highway 10 this past week in Elk River.
Thinking they were dead, the snakes were transported to Barrington Oaks Veterinary to find out if the snakes were chipped and their original owners could be identified.
There were not microchips implanted in the snakes. To the surprise of everyone, however, the snakes came to life once they warmed up.
“They came back to life within minutes of warming up,” said Amy Scully, one of the Barrington staff members to handle the snakes once they were brought in.
The snakes were slid into water at first and then placed under a heat lamp. The larger of the two snakes is a bull snake known also as a gopher snake, and it has been adopted by a local man.
The other one, an anerythristic corn snake, is being delivered to a staff member of the Minnesota Herpetological Society in Northeast Minneapolis.
Elk River police came to the aid of the snakes on a report of an abandoned aquarium at 8:48 a.m. Monday, Feb. 18. They arrived to find two snakes and their 4-foot glass aquarium, according to Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz.
The aquarium also had a light and a heat rock, and there was some indication that the snakes may have been named Cheech and Chong, according to a Barrington Oaks staff member.
A community service officer took them to Barrington Oaks in Elk River.
The vet hospital is no stranger to odd deliveries. They have had everything from a bearded dragon (lizard) and rabbits to a sparrow from a little boy and unclaimed cats.
Barrington Oaks staff works to provide homes in these instances, but Scully said they would prefer people not leave pets on the side of the road — or worse.
“We have had people call and say they had someone throw something from a car and when they stop and check they find it’s a puppy,” Scully recalls. “There are other ways of dealing with animals. There are ways to place your pets.”
Scully suggests doing a little research, or — at the very least — calling a local vet and finding out where to turn.
Kluntz said his department is still trying to identify the original owner of the snakes. Anyone with information can call 763-635-1200 to report it.