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Old 08-16-03, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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possible captive garter

caught this little guy today, and now i want to keep him. (thats a dime he's next to) the only reason i would keep him is b/c he's so small, and new that he is not as used to the wild as a yearling garter. my mom said that if i could get him to eat i could keep him. so im asking all you garter owners for some tips, and help on setting his cage up. right now i have a small yogurt lid for water, and some sphag. moss for him to hide under, i know this isn't much, but once i find out what to do i will change it emediatly.

a friend of mine suggested guppies, what do you all use, could i go with crickets and worms, thanx for the help,

ps- what about hybernation.
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Old 08-16-03, 06:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should let him go, he was probably quite happy in the wild.
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Old 08-16-03, 06:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally posted by JeffT
You should let him go, he was probably quite happy in the wild.
How do you know? Maybe the garter would prefer to have meals served on a silver platter and to be at the top of the food chain with no natural preditors... no need to try and survive a winter. How do you know garters feel joy and happiness? Is your nick name Harry Potter? In the wild the garter faces starvation, being eaten by other animals, death and dismemberment by humans terrified of the tiny snake in their garden.

There are many reasons on why the garter probably should have been left alone, but there can be serious ramifications with reintroducing animals back into the wild that have been in captivity, especially if snakehunter has any other animals. particularly if the animals in his collection are not native to his area. That garter could pick up a pathogen that has the potential to destroy whole colonies of animals (don't forget garters get together in the winter for brumation).

snakehunter: I suggest trying the colubrid forums and reading Jonathan Crow's guide for garters. you can find it at

You might also try to get an ID of the garter so you can have a better idea of what it feeds on.

Good luck, keep herping and you may want to be careful about what you bring home depending on the laws in your area plus conservation efforts. Also you never know what might catch a ride home with your friend.
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Old 08-16-03, 06:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with Lisa, I've always felt that snakes could be better off in captivity due to the fact that they'll always have shelter, food, care, and no natural predators. Honestly, if I was a snake, I'd sure prefer that!
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Old 08-16-03, 09:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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he'll problaby eat worms
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Old 08-16-03, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd try worms, guppies, tadpoles if available, and even chopped up mouse pinkies. If a neonate hatchling garter takes food at all when first brought home, they tend to eat quite well in my experience and you have an excellent chance of getting them started on rodents which helps to minimize the high parasite risks of a fish and worm diet. Many young garters will refuse to eat in captivity though so if you can't get him to eat in a week it's probably better to return him to the wild so he won't starve.
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Old 08-16-03, 10:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll send you a PM. He's very cute!
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