GREAT FALLS — Montana Reptile Rescue in Great Falls is working to re-home Waffles, a three-year-old Western Hognose snake.
“This guy in particular, when he’s out and about, he’s one of the most relaxed snakes I know. But when you wake him up he’s a very cranky individual,” said Jeremy Allestad, the CEO of Montana Reptile Rescue.
Waffles may be cranky at times, but Western Hognose snakes are harmless. When Waffles feels threatened he will hiss and pretend to strike, mimicking dangerous snakes, but his only real defense is to roll over and play dead.
“When it comes to snakes a lot of people actually consider them therapeutic. They are very interesting animals to work with. They just kind of slowly move around your body. With them it’s all about working with them and handling them and letting them know that you’re not going to hurt them,” said Allestad about how to help Waffles transition into a new home.
It will cost $40 to adopt Waffles. The Montana Reptile Rescue requires a signed document stating that Waffles must be brought back to the rescue to be re-homed if necessary. If you would like more information, contact Jeremy via the Montana Reptile Rescue page on Facebook.
Proper care of a Western Hognose snake includes a 20-30 gallon tank, a heat lamp set to 90-95 degrees, a humidity box made of damp moss, some hide furniture, and a water dish. A Western Hognose feeds on “pinky” rats once a week. Supplies for snake care can be found in Petsmart and Petco.
Click here for more information about Western Hognose snakes, including this overview:
Female Western hognoses can grow to a maximum size just short of 3 feet, with a weight that normally does not exceed 800 grams. Males are somewhat smaller, averaging between 14 to 24 inches.
Western hognoses may live up to 18 years in captivity. The Western hognose is probably best known for its wide array of harmless defensive ploys, sometimes accompanied by a loud hiss that is achieved by the snake forcing air through its unique skull and rostral bone structure.
Added to this is the Western hognose’s ability to compress, or flatten, its body when threatened.