Last week, Briar and I went on a walk with our friends Teeth & Steve and their dog Motley. Our plan was to play Ingress as we went, taking portals with our phones while our dogs took them with urine assertions, but we reached Pickett Bridge and one of the most surreal things of my entire life happened.
I glanced off to my left and saw what looked like a giant snake sticking out of the bushes.
Now, the park west of Pickett Bridge contains a salmon hatchery, and people are allowed to catch the fish and drop them into something that functions sorta like an ichthyological pneumatic tube, which then dumps the fishies into the holding pond for hatchery staff to deal with. But sometimes the people fishing are dickbags and leave the dead fish out on the sidewalk or the benches. So when i saw this enormous scaley thing, I was like, That must be a salmon. Even though it’s too early for salmon season. Because it can’t be the other thing that it looks like.
So i casually asked, “Hey, what is that?”
Teeth and Steve confirmed that it was, indeed, a massive boa constrictor. This dude’s belly was about five inches in diameter. I suspect he weighed thirty-five or forty pounds at least. He probably could have taken Briar one-on-one, if it was warm out and he got the drop on her.
Teeth and i held the dogs while Steve, who is a huge herp-nerd, gently extracted the snake from the bushes. It’s been a looong time since i was a kid and my parents let me have the guest room to store all my reptiles (coolest parents EVER). I would have pulled him from the bushes too fast, made him angry, and he would have bit my face with his cell-phone-sized mouth. THANK YOU TEETH AND STEVE. <3 I love having other animal nerds for friends, especially when their knowledge surpasses mine.
Not only did Steve gently coax the snake out, but he let the twisty varmint take an enormous dump all down his leg and on his shoe, all the while letting it hiss at him half-heartedly while it desperately soaked up his body heat. The poor thing was so cold it could barely move, and it had some gnarly wounds on its side–some local wildlife had been foolish enough to try and eat a five foot boa constrictor. (Please imagine, for a moment, a very confused otter.)
We called the emergency vet (which is in my phone because i’m le smart. It should be in your phone too. Seriously, if it’s not, do it RIGHT NOW. You never ever know when you will need that number). Teeth fetched the car so Steve didn’t have to carry a pissed-off snake taller than he was back to my house, but we ran into a snag.
Emergency vet: “We don’t do snakes.”
So we called 911, who paged Animal Control.
Animal Control: “We don’t do snakes.”
Luckily, AC does call the Humane Society to take care of the things they don’t. The van was about 45 minutes out, though. In the mean time, cops started showing up to get a look at the giant-ass snake on Pickett Bridge. And why wouldn’t they, when it looked like this:
They’d had a call earlier about a big snake swimming in the water nearby, which could only be our scaley little buddy. Steve patiently gave the BPD lessons about snakes, especially how very not dangerous this big boy was, because at least one of those officers was about to crap his uniform. hahaha! They were really nice, though, and it was good of them to hang out and make sure the Humane Society showed up to help us. While they were getting a free herpetology lecture, i went home and got Seamus, who drove me back with a towel nestled in a plastic tote, so Steve could stand up again.
The snake is now in the hands of the Whatcom Humane Society. He may not make it, but he’s still fighting. He was cold for a long time, his wounds are numerous, but he’s in good hands. If he survives, i’m pretty sure Steve is going to apply to be his new best buddy for all of forever–watching him cuddle that thing was like seeing an old lady with her special fluffy purse dog. <3
Also, i think i convinced the WHS driver to play Ingress.