This garter snake was found in a Caledon house in February. Staff suspect the snake was disturbed from hibernation by renovations. Though uninjured, the snake can not be released until the spring, and has been in care at Toronto Wildlife Centre ever since.
Habitat loss and road mortality are decimating snake populations, and despite the fact that only one out of Ontario’s 17 snake species is venomous, they also harassed and killed out of fear. The other 16 species are harmless, are great to have around the garden (they eat things gardeners don’t want, like slugs) and are very shy–so will avoid humans as much as possible.
We can help by providing habitat for snakes in our backyards (placing logs to hide in and rocks to bask on), and educating others about the importance of snakes and why they shouldn’t be feared.