Friday, July 3, 2009

Another HAWS Education Employee

There's another member of the HAWS Humane Education team that shares my office. I haven't yet had a chance to introduce her on this blog.

"Rocky" the California King Snake was surrendered to HAWS almost 2 years ago when I was looking for a low maintenance education animal. Since she eats only once every 2 weeks and requires little handling to remain social, she fit the bill. The other advantage was that we don't often have snakes here at HAWS, and so she was an animal that would be something new for the kids to learn about.

I re-named her Severus Snake, and with the donation of a 4-foot long aquarium by a co-worker she took up residence.

While not a conventional pet, and certainly not a pet for everyone, some species of snakes make wonderful pets. Because there are a lot of misconceptions about snakes, and because most kids haven't had an opportunity to meet one, Severus is a great ambassador of her species.

Kids at camp and on the road when I do off-site programs learn that snakes aren't slimy, they require special care and housing equipment since they are cold-blooded animals, and they may be a longer term commitment than a dog or a cat. When Severus was surrendered to HAWS we were told she was 25. If true that would make her almost 27 years old.

I don't know how much longer Severus will be a member of our education team -- the research I've done indicates that California King Snakes generally live about 25 years in captivity. But as a very quiet roommate, she's welcome to share my office as long as she lives.

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