Good Samaritans help save snake

MEDICINE HAT — Sure, there are lots of Good Samaritans out there who will help an animal in distress, but it was a particularly determined group of Medicine Hat residents this weekend who banded together to rescue a 1.5-metre-long bull snake.

MEDICINE HAT — Sure, there are lots of Good Samaritans out there who will help an animal in distress, but it was a particularly determined group of Medicine Hat residents this weekend who banded together to rescue a 1.5-metre-long bull snake.

“By God, I’ll save this snake’s life,” said Dr. Sartaj Wazir of Valley Pet Hospital as the wounded reptile was being prepared for surgery.

It all started Saturday morning when a couple out for a walk along the river came across the snake, which was obviously in distress and was bleeding from two wounds near its tail.

Troy and his wife, Shannon — who didn’t want their last names used — tried calling vets and fish and wildlife officials but weren’t having much luck.

“I’m not a rich man,” said Troy, sitting outside his home with the snake in his lap. “I think he should be fixed and put back into the wild. But who do you call?”

The couple ended up at the Police Point Park Interpretive Centre, where park interpreter Rick Belliveau examined the snake and said the wound was a bite probably inflicted by a dog.

Belliveau sprang into action with a flurry of calls and eventually tracked down Wazir, who left a summer party to attend to the snake.

Aided by Dr. G.P. Gabba, the two went to work.

“These animals have as much right to exist as we do,” said Wazir. “Snakes aren’t the enemy.”

After the initial examination, it was determined the snake’s penis was damaged and would have to be amputated.

“He won’t breed again,” said Wazir.

There were some tense moments during the operation when it appeared the snake might have died. But the doctors worked to resuscitate the reptile and he sprang back to life.

Though Wazir said the snake should recover, when it comes to man or beast, “if they lose the will to live, they won’t make it.”

Belliveau said the incident outlines the need for city residents to respect wildlife, adding that dogs owners should keep their pets leashed.

“We are encroaching on (the wildlife’s) territory,” he said.

After being warned by Wazir that naming a rescued animal Lucky usually ends up as more of a curse than a blessing, Troy and Shannon asked that the snake be known as Sunny.

Sunny will spend the next two weeks recovering at the Police Point Park Interpretive Centre, where he will enjoy all the frozen mice he can eat, courtesy of Valley Pet Hospital.’

(Medicine Hat News)

Just Posted

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read