Tiger Salamander In Watford City, North Dakota, Part II

I didn’t mean to keep everybody in suspense over what happened to the green & black Tiger Salamander that I saw walking down the street nine days ago.  I felt bad for him because he was walking in the middle of the road at less than 1 mph, and I didn’t think that he knew where he was going.  I put him in a cardboard box, and I looked him up on the internet.

Green & black Tiger Salamanders are native to North Dakota.  During the rainy season, once each year, they get out and walk to the pond where they were born, in order to find a mate.  Then they go walking, usually on a rainy night, to go find a place to stay for the Winter.

I read about five internet articles that described what they like to eat, what to do if you want to keep one as a pet, and what they do and where they stay during the Winter.  All the internet articles downplayed the statement, “…or, they go and live in some other animal’s burrow.”

I didn’t know what to do with him.  I did not want to go buy a 15 to 20 gallon aquarium, make dry land, water pond, plant plants, go to the pet store to buy crickets every week, and have to worry about the cat knocking the lid off the aquarium, and the dog knocking over the aquarium.  You can’t change your mind about keeping him in the middle of the Winter, because you can’t take him out of the house and let him loose in the snow and freezing temperature.

When I got up in the morning after keeping him in the cardboard box over night, and looked to see how he was doing, he might have drank some of his water, but he had not eaten any of the hot dog pieces that I had cut up for him.  Later that day, I showed him to a neighbor lady, and she said, “I would like to say that he is cute, but he isn’t.”  I agree, he was creepy and hideous looking, and poisonous.

In the late afternoon, I talked to the person who owns the house where I live in Dickinson, and he said that Tiger Salamanders make good pets, although they don’t do a lot in the Winter, and when they are very active in their aquarium, they stink.  I can believe that, because I detected a stinky smell already.

When it got completely dark that night, I took the Tiger Salamander over to a field that had been in the direction of where he was headed the night before, and let him go.  There were some large dirt piles, brush piles, and debris piles, so he had many hiding places to chose from.  I did not want to take him further away, because I think that he would probably try to walk back to the retention pond to find a mate next Fall.

In the field where I let him go, there were many rabbits and mice.  These rabbits and mice already have holes and burrows.  Mice already have high pitch squeak voices, and I can picture some mouse woman shrieking at him, “Oh no! You’re not staying here!  Get out!”  Of course he’s not going to leave.  Probably for a weak, some mouse woman will be yelling at him, bitching, griping, and complaining non-stop.  Then, everybody will just have to go around him and step over him for the rest of the Winter.

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