Friday, September 16, 2011

Meet Zick, The Baby FLORIDA Kingsnake

Meet Zick, my new baby FLORIDA Kingsnake. She arrived yesterday via UPS and is the first snake I have ever paid money for, even though I have had a dozen or more pet snakes since I was a boy.

Every other snake was a yard capture or hand me down, all wild, all ratsnakes except for a few garter snakes when I was about 10 years old.

They were all temporary visitors in the FC household, but Zick is different.
She's captive bred and a long term commitment, just like any long-lived pet. Even though she's a native Floridian (duh, what else would you expect here at Pure Florida?), she won't be released at any time.

She's here to stay.

I named her after Julie Zickefoose, poet,musician, writer, and artist extraordinaire. The real Zick is just one of many amazing people I have met through the blogosphere, and she just charmed the scales off me when I met her and her two great kids at the Space Coast Bird thingie last January.


Zick the kingsnake is about 3 weeks old and about 12 inches long. She came from  Reptmart, a supplier that I found online by a random search in Google. I found other suppliers also, but I was impressed by Reptmart's facility as shown on their website and their concern for the safety and health of their animals.

Zick will be my classroom snake so, I cleared the idea of a snake arriving at the front desk with our receptionists and made the order.

 An hour after I clicked to complete the purchase, I received a call from a Reptmart employee.
She had looked on the map and noted Cedar Key's end of the road, middle of nowhere position on the shipping maps. The distance from any UPS air hub had her worried about the snake spending too much time on a hot UPS truck. Her research showed that deliveries to Cedar Key School were often late afternoon deliveries and she asked for a location closer to Gainesville.

Immediately I thought of my daughter Emma who now teaches at my old school, just 20 minutes from Gainesville.  The Reptmart lady researched time of delivery for that school and found that most deliveries there were by noon.
Perfect!

So we had the snake delivered to my daughter, much to the chagrin of the snakeyphobic office ladies there ...(who are great sports by the way!)

I tell you all these shipping details as evidence for the concern Reptmart has for the welfare of the animals they sell.

Zick arrived bright-eyed, active, and perky yesterday.
I could not wait to get home and meet her, so I zipped home as soon as I could.

She's beautifully marked, sweetly slithery, and very docile. Zick will spend this weekend at PFHQ getting acclimated to us, and then next week she will move into her new digs in my classroom.

You can expect frequent Zick updates as she gets busy growing and showing my students that snakes are not something to fear or loathe.

It's a big job, but I think she's up to it.



FRIENDLY REMINDER:
TOMORROW IS COASTAL CLEANUP DAY ACROSS FLORIDA!
CHIP IN IF YOU CAN!

THE COASTAL CLEANUP AT CEDAR KEY IS 8 AM TO 12:00 NOON. MEET AT THE BOAT BASIN DOWNTOWN.

JUST GOOGLE COASTAL CLEANUP AND YOUR COMMUNITY TO FIND OUT WHAT S GOING ON LOCALLY.

14 comments:

swamp4me said...

Congratulations on the new baby! We have three snakes - all captive bred - that are used in programs. Our eastern kingsnake is 19 yrs old, our corn snake is 17 yrs old, and our black ratsnake is 11 yrs old. All are still healthy and vigorous, so yes, snakes are a long-lived addition to the family!

robin andrea said...

Wonderful story about the Reptmart employee's concern for Zick's well-being. Beautiful snake and a very great name!

Island Rider said...

Just curious why you decided to use a captive bred instead of a Florida native that could be released later? Not that I will ever need one. I would be with the office lady. No snakes on my desk, no sir!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a cutie. It will be interesting to read about Zick's adventures.

Caroline said...

How beautiful is that creature?
Faberge didn't create artificial jewels any better than Ma Nature.

Floridacracker said...

Swampy,
What a great selection! Good job on the care and keeping.


Robin,
I was really impressed by the girl from Reptmart.
As for Zick, she's got big shoes to fill! (Which is challenging for any snake)



Cathy S,
Well, ... indigos are protected and I have never come across a Florida kingsnake in the wild. Plus, I really wanted a baby so we could watch it grow.


Lisa at G,
I expect her to be a regular here!


Caroline,
I agree completely.

Dani said...

She sure is a cutie!

Miz S said...

Kingsnakes are so pretty! I'm looking forward to watching her grow up:)

Julie Zickefoose said...

Awwwww!
She's so pretty!
I know you well enough to know what a high compliment it is to be named after a Florida kingsnake. I'm humbled, truly.

But I think what you really need now is a classroom Science Chimpanzee (captive raised, of course). Just to make things interesting at the new school. Imagine the shipping crate on that one!

Nice to hear how much they care at Reptmart.
Off to make a bowl of tomato soup and I am naming every little oyster cracker after you.

Sandcastle Momma said...

I have to admit she's very pretty. I'm still not sure about touching her but I can appreciate how pretty she is.

threecollie said...

She is simply gorgeous!

Floridacracker said...

Dani,
I knew you'd like her!


Miz S,
All Florida girls are pretty.


Zick#1,
You cracker me up.
heehee
I don't know if my classroom is big enough for 2 science chimps!


SandMomma,
You have come a long way! Proud of ya!

3Collie,
Isn't she? When you start looking at the variety in Kingsnakes, it is just incredible.

Mary said...

Good name choice. I'm sure Science Chimp is glowing! Keep us posted on the pretty little girl.

Mary

Floridacracker said...

Mary,
I think she is!