Teacher adopts snake that slithered into Edmonton boy's shoe
Published Monday, March 21, 2016 7:54AM EDT
A snake that made headlines when it slithered into an Alberta boy's shoe earlier this month has found a new home.
The reptile caused a stir when 11-year-old Blake Dahl found it coiled in his shoe inside his family's Edmonton home.
Dahl and his father captured the snake, but his mother was firm: the creature wasn't allowed to stay in the house.
That's when Laura Anderson, a local teacher, stepped in.
"I volunteered to pick up the snake," Anderson told CTV Edmonton. "It's been a few years since I had a snake so we just love having it around."
Anderson says her six-year-old son has grown particularly fond of the reptile, and even named the serpent "Dan the Snake."
"He is just elated to have an animal in the house," Anderson said. "I heard him whisper to the glass 'We'll be best friends.'"
The junior high teacher said "Dan" has also been a hit with her students.
"It's gotten them to do a little bit of research too, which of course, as a teacher, is wonderful," she said.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers say the snake is likely a bull or gopher snake, species native to southern Alberta.
Officer Dennis Prodan said the snake isn't dangerous. However, the province does require owners to obtain a permit if they want to legally keep the snake in captivity.
Prodan said the permit helps protect the wild snake population from health threats.
"In a lot of cases, once the novelty wears off, people will release these animals back into the wild again," Prodan said.
When this happens, the officer said the released snakes could "inadvertently jeopardize the population" by introducing by parasites or diseases the wild snakes can't deal with.
Because of this, Prodan said permits are usually only issued to educational institutions and zoos.
Anderson said she plans to have wildlife officers officially ID the snake. If they tell her she can't keep it as a pet, then she says she'll give the reptile up, and let the officers decide where it should go.
"Of course," she said. "If it's a wild animal then it would be better suited in the wild."
With files from CTV Edmonton