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Old 07-04-19, 06:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Help with Snake Identification!

Hello All!

I'm a new snake owner and not really the brightest when it comes to owning a snake.

Here's my back story..

I live in Newfoundland, Canada. We have no wild snakes in our province. I work at a vet clinic and a snake was found in an industrial park. It's not uncommon to hear of people here letting their snakes outside when they no longer want them. The snake was picked up and brought into our clinic where he was held for 72 hours with no one coming forward for him. I took him home and set him up in a 20 gallon long. He was extremely docile, skinny and dehydrated. I fed him 4 times in a week span (I know this is a lot but I was underestimating the size rat I needed) - I basically fed him rat pinkys and they didn't leave a bulge so I was obviously under feeding. Anyway, he's obviously feeling better but the problem is that he stalks me through the tank when I walk around my room, he strikes at the glass, I struggle to change his water bowl. It looks like a hurricane has gone through his tank most days.

He is missing the tip of his tail - an obvious old injury as it was healed when he was brought in. He is roughly 2 feet in length and about 1-1.5 inches around.

So far people have said he is a corn snake, rat snake or eastern milksnake (wild that was brought here on a truck). Looking for Opinions! I'm completely lost.
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Old 07-05-19, 12:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: May-2019
Posts: 91
Re: Help with Snake Identification!

I'm a novice snake keeper, but I'd say it is a black corn snake (check it out on Google images and see what you think). Really nice looking, by the way.

Here's my advice for care as I've seen others give on this forum:

Make sure you have the correct temperatures in the enclosure. One end should be heated to the 80's while the other end at a temperature somewhere in the 70's. You need to create a thermal gradient so that the snake can thermoregulate. You might want to check a care guide for corn snakes or maybe someone with more experience can add/correct what I've said. Here's one I was looking at for corn snakes:

Corn Snake Care Sheet

I can't tell, but I'm not sure you have any hides in the enclosure. You need at least two, snug-fitting hides for the snake to feel secure. One on the hot side, one on the cool side.

What's your substrate? I know that some substrates like pine and cedar aren't good for snakes. Aspen is a good choice from what I know.

Maybe once you do these things he will start to calm down. Good luck!
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Old 07-05-19, 12:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Help with Snake Identification!

It's a rat snake (Pantherophis sp.). Where he came from originally will tell you exactly which of the three species.

...the old ones ... knew in their bones... that death exists, that all life kills to eat, that all lives end, that energy goes on. They knew that humans are participants, not spectators. -- Stephen Bodio, On the Edge of the Wild
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Old 07-05-19, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb-2019
Posts: 246
Re: Help with Snake Identification!

Poor snake, I'm glad you were able rescue him! I'm sure he'll start to calm down once he feels safer.
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Old 07-06-19, 12:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep-2014
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Re: Help with Snake Identification!

Rat snake, as mentioned could be one of several species, but care is the same. The fact that the tail tip is missing and the behavior suggests a wild snake hitchhiker, not a released CB pet. Or possibly someone caught it, tried to keep it, then released it when it didn't calm down quickly enough. If you plan on keeping it a much larger enclosure than a 20 gallon tank will be necessary.
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