I could have lumped this activity from las week with the rest of the highlights in my last update, but I felt selfish doing so. You all would have missed too much. So here it goes…
When I began facilitating learning experiences for Le’Laia last October we unexpectedly found a small Puerto Rican garden snake (arrhyton exiguum) in front of her house. We captured it and observed it for two weeks. Then it escaped the day after we arrived at our new location. It was gone, never to be found again. We were deflated by our sneaky snake’s escape
Luckily for us, ExAlt is surrounded by a small forest and, according to the gardener (Señor Luis), many many snakes. We determined to find a new one we could study and learn about over a longer period of time. An agreement was made with Sr. Luis: Next time he saw a snake he would call us immediately and snake protocol would be put in place.
When Snake Alert was received everyone had to proceed as follows: 1) Stop whatever we are doing, 2) Put on shoes as fast as possible (shoe on wrong foot is fine as long as laces are properly tied), 3) We all run outside to the snake sighting location ready to grab it.
Señor Luis came once per week to maintain the green areas. Every time he was around we would look out the window, secretly expecting his call, but after a month and a half and no news of snakes we had lost all hope of finding one.
Last week, at the least expected moment, the Snake Alert came in. Señor Luis yelled, “¡Hay una serpiente en el primer piso, corran!” The excite-o-meter went from 0-100% in just 3 seconds and off we went shoes backwards, screaming Snake Alert, Snake Alert!!
To our surprise, it was another arrhyton exiguum of about the same size as last one. Le’Laia asked with wide eyes, “Is it the same one??” I said “YES, we found it!” But immediately after, I confessed there was no way to tell, and that the chances of finding the exact same snake were small given our surrounding.
That didn’t stop us from jumping into action. We found a secure provisional habitat. Went online to find some more information about it. We bought a terrarium. Went to the forest to find good dirt and plants, and we created a cozy habitat for it. Below you will find a few pictures of the process post-capture. This has been one of the most exciting and engaging spontaneous activities we have had. Sometimes the best experiences are not planned. Enjoy!
Everyday at ExAlt is an adventure. You never know what surprises the day may bring. Stay tuned for more!