by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
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What happened there…

January 12th, 2013

I asked yesterday if you could guess What Happened Here. I sooooooooooooooooooo wish what happened is what Kristen described in the comment section of What Happened Here, but the story goes like so:

Katy grabbed the snake before it disappeared. Daniel and I help make a plan.

I’m sitting at my desk and I hear some chatter in the hall then Kimberly yells for me to come to the Exam Room. It’s maybe 20 feet from where I am to get there and I find Katy lying on the floor. I notice quickly she has the end of the black rat snake in her hand and the snake is basically disappeared into some crack in the baseboard of the cabinet.

I stick my hand (well, really my pointer finger is all that will fit in) up in the hole and I first thought the snake was making its way into the wall. As Katy has already learned, there is no real way to back the snake out. The snake was tense and pulling led to no good outcome. I think I freaked Katy and Kimberly out when I said something like “we could put the snake to sleep”. (I was thinking if the snake were medicated there was a chance we could thread him back out through the hole since he would not be tensing his muscles and fighting against her pulling).

After a minute or so, we figure out that the snake is not in the wall nor is it under the cabinets. Instead, it is wedged between the end of the cabinet and the wall.

Daniel starts to pry off the cabinet trim.

 This is when we ask Daniel to start ripping the cabinet trim off. I was able to confirm that the snake had gone down to the ground rather than up against the wall, so I knew Daniel could  cut and pry and saw and do whatever was needed without hurting the snake.

I’m not sure if you can tell in the photo that we covered Katy’s head with a towel   (we hoped to keep the saw dusting away from her eyes and mouth- which we did).

a saw is needed to cut away the cabinet trim.

 

Daniel finally gets the 2 inch wide trim piece off the wall and we see the snake clear as can be.

Aaron goes to get a snake hook- it’s skinny enough to get back in the crack to try to encourage the snake forward.

With the end of the snake hook behind the snake encouraging it forward, and leading the snake up and out away from the splintered wood, we were able to get the snake out, and unharmed.

 

It’s a crappy photo, but this is the 1.5 inch space between the wall and the cabinet that the snake has gotten itself into.

Daniel was a huge help (Daniel works in the facilities department now but he worked in the animal department for many years as well so we continue to count on his assistance during tricky times. The snake was uninjured. Katy checked him for any scratches or wounds but found no issues on. Possibly the most impressive thing is that Daniel had the cabinet repaired by lunchtime!

. Now, are you asking how this whole scene came to be? The snake’s cage was being cleaned so we put the snake on the Exam Room floor to get some exercise. We have now since covered the hole under the cabinet (and we found another hole at the other end of the cabinet that we covered too).

Another exciting day in the animal department complete. I’m really glad this story had a happy ending.

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