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Beach Grove Elementary Students Release the Last of 500 Rescued Garter Snakes

Apr 14, 2015

On Tuesday, April 14, students from Beach Grove Elementary School helped release the last of the 500 garter snakes rescued in early March back to their home in the Boundary Bay Dike area. This follows the successful rescue and recovery mission carried out by the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC, the Corporation of Delta and SNC-Lavalin, and the release of more than 500 garter snakes on Sunday, March 22.

Since the rescue, the snakes have been in the care of the Wildlife Rescue Association at the Burnaby facility. A few injured snakes were treated by Wildlife Rescue rehabilitation staff and not included in the initial release, but are now healthy and ready to be released back to their home.

The students taking part in the second release were a crucial part of the entire mission, as they were involved with notifying Delta of the potential snake hibernation site (hibernaculum) when repair work on a rock dike was carried out by SNC-Lavalin on behalf of The Corporation of Delta in early March.

The biologists involved with the project had a wildlife rescue plan in place and more than 500 Garter snakes were rescued from the site, making it the largest discovery of its kind on the BC coast. The snakes were transferred to Wildlife Rescue’s facilities in Burnaby, where a majority were placed in plastic tubs in a cool and quiet location on site to allow the snakes to continue their brumation (a reptilian version of hibernation). Three snakes were identified: Terrestrial Garter snake, Common Garter snake, and Western Garter snake.

The reptiles were tagged prior to release so that a team of biologists can follow their progress throughout the year.