Today, I had a deep, self-revelation moment: I hate snakes. Maybe hate is too strong of a word, but they definitely terrify me. I had no idea that I was scared of snakes before this internship, but when I was asked to change a part in the snake tank a couple of weeks ago, I was shaking SO bad. It was pathetic. Today, they told me that I would be cleaning the snake tank, and my stomach instantly felt like it was in knots. Fortunately, they were going to take all the snakes out, babies and adults, and I wouldn’t have to worry about getting bit, or picking up any snakes. I got to watch them taking all the snakes out of the tank, and that was really cool. There were three pretty big ones, probably the length of my fingertips to my shoulder, and the two people who were taking the snakes out would just reach in, grab the snakes’ heads, and just pull them out. To store the snakes, they put the babies in gallon zip-lock bags, the medium sized ones in an ice chest, and the large ones were put in pillowcases. Also, none of the people in the freshwater department wanted to get the snakes out, so they called in someone from the Life Support Systems, which fixes plumbing or electrical problems, who LIKES picking up the snakes. After all the snakes were removed, they removed the small rocks and the wood platforms underneath the rocks, to clean them. Then, I got in the tank, and vacuumed up the snake skin, the algae, the dirt, and all the various debris in the tank. I got really close to being done, but then the light burned out, so we couldn’t put the rocks and wood platforms back in, or the snakes, so we got stuck. Eventually though, the light got fixed, and we were able to put everything back in.
Despite all the snakes, today was a great day, and I enjoyed watching the other workers wrangle the snakes, and even cleaning the tank wasn’t that bad. I only have two days left, but they’ve been giving me more interesting things to do, and I’ve learned so much during this internship.