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Thread: Greetings from North Dakota

  1. #1
    Hi, I'm New Here! Dakotagater's Avatar
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    Greetings from North Dakota

    Hello All,

    Frank here, I just joined, never thought I would be in a position of owning a garter snake. I acquired my new pet by accident while checking the heating system located in the basement of an old house I own, this was just a few weeks ago right before Christmas. I was just getting ready to winterize the house, and with subzero temps (-5) already outside I really didn't think the little one I found would make the quick transition (temp drop) and it looked a little rough, dirty, skinny and lethargic which is what I assume is normal prior to hibernation. Anyhow, I brought it home, much to my wife's dismay as she is not on board with this particular type of pet... we have had fish, birds, ferrets, pet rats, three dogs an iguana and for a brief few days a baby pot bellied pig (re-gifted to a loving couple in the country). So my wife has, ... "over the last 25 years" indulged a man that, as a boy, brought home everything that wiggled walked or crawled which was much to the dismay of his mother. anyhow...

    I found your forum after a search to educate myself in the proper care of our new house guest. Great place to visit and learn and after purchasing a habitat and getting our new addition eating (worms) and then on pinkies, I was hoping to have some of the experts out here help identify (and possibly sex) our new pet. My guess is that he is simply a common garter (thamnophis sirtalis) which is native to the western part of ND where I live, any confirmation would be great... as for sexing would it be helpful if I sent a pic of the lower portion "vent" and tail of our new pet?

    Oh and for the record "Slinky" will be released this spring back to a splendid grassy wood pile near the house where he was found, would be great to keep this awesome creature but my initial intent was to save this little guy, not keep... it'll be hard as I have already grown quite fond of him/her as the habitat sits right next to my easy chair in the living room and I have really enjoyed watching and interacting with this interesting and inquisitive critter. We are coming up on what I believe will be the first "captive" shed. I have a bowl of water in the enclosure to help facilitate a little higher humidity and to provide a bathing area to help hydrate to facilitate the shed. Slinky loves the water and vigorously rubs nose and mouth on rough edges after a dip... eyes are just starting to haze over. Is there anything I need to do?

    Thanks for any and all help/direction. Great site, articles, forum, and pictures!

    Frank

  2. #2
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    Nice to have you with us. Sounds like you've done your homework. What are you feeding? If you post a photo(good lighting) we'll identify the species. Could be T. sirtalis - Common garter or T. s. parietalis - Red sided garter or maybe T. radix - Plains Garter.
    I'll link you to the forum care sheet and thread that will help you sex your buddy.
    Garter Snake Forum - Garter Caresheet
    http://www.thamnophis.com/forum/bree...xing-pics.html

    Dakotagater likes this.
    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

  3. #3
    Hi, I'm New Here!
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    I'm just across the red, from Minnesota!!!

  4. #4
    Adult snake
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    Welcome to the forum Frank. I was raised in Boston Mass. but was born in Dickinson N.D. Send some pics and we can help you with Id and gender.

  5. #5
    Hi, I'm New Here! Dakotagater's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    Hello hope the weather is treating you better than what we've dealt with lol. Thanks for the welcome neighbor

  6. #6
    Hi, I'm New Here! Dakotagater's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    Always good to t
    Hear from a ND native. I just know you miss the wide open spaces or better yet the warm friendly people. Thanks for the greetings. Stay warm I know your area gets plenty of Snow and cold.

  7. #7
    Hi, I'm New Here! Dakotagater's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    Good to have already met some new friends and thanks for the offers to help, much appreciated. I won't be sending pic's of the tail/vent as our new pet is not real keen on being handled much as yet, we are working that issue, but for now I try to keep the stress to a minimum, we (snake and I) are getting better as we are are in such close proximity... his habitat and my favorite chair share common real estate , but I am sending a few for ID of species or genus. I think I mentioned we are feeding worms and have recently moved to include pinkies so that we get a complete balanced diet, I have shied away from the fish due to the issues of the "right" kind of fish. Besides the transition to pinkies was a nonissue, good chance this critter had them in the wild... so I didn't even have to entice "wiggle" with long nose hemostat. My habitat has both a day and night heat lamp, some foliage, a hollow log, water dish, swimming pool, a nice flat sun rock and fir bark substrate. All located in a ten-gallon aquarium. Enclosure Temp runs about 70 with rock surface about 75-80 for good digestion. Relative Humidity is low as we are in the winter here, the house is only about 30 so habitat runs a little lower at about 25%. I spritz with distilled water a few times a night, get's it up to 40% for a good period of time. Let me know what I can do better... in the beginning there was a good deal of activity and now not so much... a little worried but don't know enough to trouble shoot or if there is anything actually wrong at this point. Again I believe we are getting close to a shed but not sure... looking very dull and eyes were cloudy the other day... clearer now though.

    Not sure if I am posting the pictures properly... if not, please let me know and I'll def check the forum rules and regs for this... here goes.


    Slinky 2a.jpgSlinky 4a.jpgSlinky 6a.jpg
    Last edited by Dakotagater; 01-07-2017 at 01:34 AM.

  8. #8
    "Preparing For First shed"
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    Same as mine!20161121_211811.jpg

  9. #9
    Hi, I'm New Here! Dakotagater's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    Hello Norman, a neighbor to the North! we share a common thread... looks like the same genus to me. They are so cool, am I right? All the other people I know that have snakes, like at work and others friends, all have constrictors and granted they are neat but not really very active... our species, on the other hand are diurnal and quite active and inquisitive. Better pet in my book, but then I'm old enough to remember pet rocks and well although a cute fad really had few redeeming qualities, lol, Hey thanks for the greeting!

  10. #10
    "Preparing For First shed"
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    Re: Greetings from North Dakota

    Hi Frank! These snake are cool. I used to catch them by the dozens as a kid. I got this one Sept 10th out at my Mom's farm. I caught about 12 that day. I kept this one because it was the biggest. Got it on a F/T mouse diet now.

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