My husband has a packrat obsession. To a certain degree, I get it. They are extremely destructive and when we first bought our house they had invaded the roof space and caused no end of problems. But that was years ago and now they have been evicted and the house has been made rat proof. I just consider them to be part of the food chain on our land, they ensure we have a healthy population of bobcats, snakes and raptors, all of which I enjoy. However I don't think the war ever ended for my husband and whenever there is a new burrow, a new dropping, a new nibble on a cactus pad, he ignores all the other potential candidates and immediately accuses the hapless packrat. So, true to form, when we came home the other day to find a quite large excavation under our front step, my husband immediately stated the packrat was to blame. I expressed my doubts, saying that I thought the burrow was unusually large for a packrat but to no avail. One small concession I have achieved in the ongoing war is that we use 'have a heart' traps. They capture the animal without injuring it, thus allowing you to relocate it. So the traps were set outside the large burrow and we went to bed. The next morning I was woken at 5.50am (!) by my husband demanding that I come outside and 'sort this out.' So I stumbled out of the front door in t-shirt and flip-flops to be greeted by this....
I am trained to work with venomous snakes so my husband was not being entirely irrational in his request. It just wasn't quite how I had envisioned starting my morning. I went back inside and got myself more appropriately attired and grabbed my snake tools. The snake seemed quite relaxed, curled up in her 'nest.' There was no signs of aggression and she didn't rattle at all. I careful slid the door up and off the cage. Hubby suggested that I tip the cage up so that she would slide out but of course, snakes don't work like that.
She was very comfortable and wasn't going anywhere. I put the cage into a nearby flowerbed and left her in peace. I knew this wasn't going to be a quick process so went off and had breakfast.
Four hours later she finally decided that it was time to make a move and trundled slowly on her way.
She didn't seem to hold a grudge over her temporary confinement and allowed me to follow her progress and take numerous photos. (For future posts.)
Several hours later I happened to look out of the window and saw the true culprit emerging from the fresh excavations - a rock squirrel!
For once I am actually organised enough to link this post to Eileen's Saturday Critters. Please visit her great blog.