Preparing dinner for 16 Baby Garter Snakes Found Tedious Process by Woman Expert
Miss Nellie Louise Condon, director of the Reptile Study Society of America faced a problem
A garter snake, captured at Montauk on June 15, recently became the indifferent mother of
little snakes. Miss Condon, who has been collecting snakes for many years, found that the
care of the baby reptiles was too much for one person.
The story unfolded at an exhibition of the mother and little snakes at 921 Madison Avenue.
Miss Condon pointed out that the garter snake, contrary to common
belief, had a penchant for warm-blooded prey. A field mouse is its favorite food.
The baby snakes, however, must have live white worms.
Miss Condon says it requires more than a hour and a half to feed the litter. Each
member of the family is taken to its meal separately. It the worm "plays possum" the
snakes will not devour it.
Having little or no sense of smell the only way the snakes identify food is
by sight and motions, Miss Condon said. If one just dumped worms into the
screened box the young snakes would fight among themselves, she added,
in explanation of the necessity of individual feeding.
All the time two little girls, attending the exhibition, looked curiously at
the little snakes and at the mother,
which Miss Condon was holding. They were Agnes Goehle and Inger Kuhn, each 11 years old.
"Don't you love snakes?" Miss Condon asked. "Yes." replied Agnes with a deprecatory
expression, "but no so close to me".
Miss Condon, on advice of C. W. Manzer, a naturalist, decided to struggle
along raising the snakes for a
few more days, in the hope that the table manners may improve sufficiently to
allow group feeding.
New York Times August 26, 1933
Miss Nellie Louise Condon, president of the Reptile Study League Medicine: Snakes, Alcohol
June 4, 1928, New York Times. Nellie Louise Condon, 536 East 84th Street, New York,
Bulletin of the National Research Council By National Research Council (U.S.), 1950.