'Healthy and in very good spirits': Snake captured in Fort Rouge checked out by vet
WINNIPEG -- A snake that made Winnipeg headlines after being on the loose in the city for nearly two days before police caught it has been checked out by a veterinarian and is now in proper care.
After two days of searching, police apprehended the snake about 200 metres from where it was first spotted in the Fort Rouge area.
The snake was then taken to Grant Park Animal Hospital since it had a small lesion on its side.
"The snake was surprisingly healthy and in very good spirits," said veterinarian Jonas Watson. "[It was] a friendly snake, obviously an animal that's been handled by someone for a long time and was a very easy patient for us."
Originally described as being eight feet long by Winnipeg police, the snake turned out to be much smaller.
"We are pretty sure it is an unusual colour morph of a corn snake," said Watson. "It was about 40 inches or so, so large for a corn snake, but not the beast the public was concerned about the last couple of days."
Watson said corn snakes are nonvenomous and common in the pet trade.
"We presume that this was somebody's pet that had gotten loose somehow," he said. "There's a chance that someone set it free, but it looked like an animal that had been reasonably cared for."
According to Watson, this incident should be used as an example about responsible keeping of exotic animals.
He said snakes and other reptiles have very particular needs that can cause a variety of medical problems if not met. He also noted keeping them in captivity can stop them from doing some of their natural behaviours.
"This might give us the chance to consider that some animals might not be better off living in captivity," Watson said.
The City of Winnipeg said the snake is legal under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw and will be held as a stray. The city said it will find a new home for the snake if it isn't claimed.