Releasing garter snake BACK into the wild.

Asked March 24, 2019, 3:04 AM EDT

Over the winter we found a garter snake living in our basement. The temperatures outside were consistently below zero, so it seemed a death sentence to just throw it outside. We bought a tank, heat lamps, etc. and have been feeding it, with plans to let it outside once the temperature is a little higher. By that point it will have been with us 2 months. Is that too long to successfully release it back into the wild? Will it have become too accustomed to humans / being fed?

Oregon human-wildlife issues garter snakes

1 Response

Especially if the snake has not been exposed to other captive reptiles (potential disease issues if released), the snake will likely be ok to release. However I contacted the licensed wildlife rehab staff at Chintimini Wildlife Centerhttps://chintiminiwildlife.org/contact.htm to get their advice. They advise taking the snake to your nearest licensed rehab center just to allow a check-up for overall condition, such as body weight before releasing the animal. If all is well, then the next step would be a careful release into appropriate habitat!