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Thread: Hello!

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    Zia
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    Hello!

    Hi everyone! My name is Kylie, and I currently have two garters. I've had an albino checkered garter for about a year now, and just last night was at my LPS and they had a "Florida Blue"... I couldn't resist, and she's home with me now too!

    For all that I've had the albino checkered for over a year now, I'm just starting the process in really learning about garters, so please forgive me if I don't use the right terms and scientific names just yet lol. I've decided that these little guys are "my" snake, and want to get more in the future. Before I do that, I want to make sure I'm read up on them!

    The catch is that I do live in Georgia, one of the few states where native garters are illegal to own. So supposedly, eastern garters are a no go for me... but doing some research this morning, it sounds like my new "Florida Blue" is actually a blue eastern, and she was displayed rather proudly at the store. The guy who sold her to me (who DOES know his snakes... at least his pythons and boas) said he thought she was a cross between a checkered and a blue sided, and had bought her at the Repticon show in Atlanta the weekend before. So, between what he said, that the seller could sell him at the show, and that most people here don't know one snake from another to save their life, I think I'd be pretty safe with eastern morphs. Not that I want to tempt fate by seeking them out, but I'm not giving up my new girl.

    So! I'm here now, reading everything I can, and hope to be around for a while! I will put up pictures in the next post.

  2. #2
    Forum Moderator Stefan-A's Avatar
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    Re: Hello!

    Welcome aboard.

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    Adult snake jwolfe152's Avatar
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    Re: Hello!

    Welcome to the best tham forum there is
    2.2.1Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Ekoh, Amaunet, Emily, Copper,
    1.0 Canis familiaris Chihuahua Hershey
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    "PM Boots For Custom Title" chris-uk's Avatar
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    Re: Hello!

    Welcome aboard.

    The guy that sold you your Florida Blue might know some snakes, but clearly not garters. It's not going to be a cross of a checkered and a "blue sided", because there is no such thing as a blue sided garter...
    You're correct that the Florida Blue is an Eastern (T. sirtalis sirtalis), so you could have a legal grey area. Hopefully there's some common sense in the law and having one privately won't be an issue.

    Shout if you have questions that you can't find old answers to.
    Chris
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    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Hello!

    Nice to have you with us. Here's a link to the forum care sheet which is always a good read. Feel free to post any other question to the forum members. We will do our best to give you some prompt answers. Chris is spot-on with his information on the species you have.

    I called The Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources and spoke to Miss Hawkins (Special Permits-770-761-3044) According to her you may not keep any native non-venomous snake as a pet. They can only be kept using an "education permit". I asked her if that included any subspecies of Thamnophis sirtalis. She said yes. I pressed her with an example of T.s.parietalis - Red Sided Garter that doesn't even range in GA. She said "rule of thumb is NO" I then asked about T. radix - Plains Garter Snake which doesn't range in GA. She seemed unsure as to what to say and referred me to the State Herpetologist (John Jensen 478-994-1438) I called that number and Mr. Jensen is out of the office until Monday. I will try to make contact with him next week.

    Here's some info. I found very surprising. No permit is need to keep a native venomous snake
    So, keep all the venomous snakes you want but don't you dare keep a garter snake.
    Garter Snake Forum - Garter Caresheet


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    Steve
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    Re: Hello!

    Welcome aboard!

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    Adult snake jwolfe152's Avatar
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    Re: Hello!

    Quote Originally Posted by guidofatherof5 View Post

    Here's some info. I found very surprising. No permit is need to keep a native venomous snake
    So, keep all the venomous snakes you want but don't you dare keep a garter snake.
    lol backassward laws people come up with
    2.2.1Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Ekoh, Amaunet, Emily, Copper,
    1.0 Canis familiaris Chihuahua Hershey
    1.1 Felis catus Jinx and Rocky

    Where understanding lives, danger (and fear) dies.

  8. #8
    Zia
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    Re: Hello!

    Oh wow, thank you so much for making the contact! That's above and beyond anything I've experienced on a forum before!

    I was just going to operate on a "don't ask don't tell" policy because I don't think most people would know enough to have an issue with my having her, but if it seems like it will be a big threat to her safety I will find her someplace that can take her. My albino checkered lives at my office, which is on a military installation, and the environmental/wildlife guys have all seen her and almost no one has even questioned that I have a garter in GA. The one person who did ask, it was just a curious "I thought garters were illegal in GA?" When I told him she wasn't a species that was native he was like "Oh, ok!" and moved on in the conversation. So I was going to use the line "She was sold to me as a checkered hybrid" and play dumb if I was ever questioned about the new girl. Again though, if the general consensus is that this might be dangerous for her then I will find someplace for her... and will put off future plans of garter ownership until I'm out of this silly state. Or just start keeping rattlesnakes!

    I've been reading a lot on the forum, you guys have a ton of good knowledge that I am excited to put into practice!

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    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Hello!

    If this is a hybrid or there is any chance it could be a hybrid I suggest you keep it. Releasing it could have a terrible effect on the wild gene pool. I'm sure GA is much like other States, they have bigger things on their plate then to worry about someone keeping a native garter as a pet. Your "don't ask, don't tell" idea seems fine to me.
    I'll gather more information on the legal part of this situation on Monday.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  10. #10
    Zia
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    Re: Hello!

    I am 99.9% sure she is not a hybrid. And I would never release her. I was told she was five years old and has been in captivity that whole time. I would find a nature center or something of the sort.


    Sorry for the less than perfect picture, I rely on my cell phone camera way too much.
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