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Snakes invade Manitoba seniors' home

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INWOOD - The annual fall frenzy of slithering red-sided garters is driving some seniors’ home residents here snakey.

"I had one in my kitchen last night when I was trying to make my supper," said Inwood Manor resident Ann O’Malley.

She’s complained to the administration of the 55-plus building, her MLA and her MP, but hasn’t gotten anywhere.

"Nothing has been done," said the retired bartender, who moved into the 20-unit independent living facility in May.

Inwood is close to the world famous red sided garter snake dens, which attract thousands of tourists - and snakes - each year.

During the spring mating and the fall pre-denning periods, more than 50,000 snakes congregate at the Narcisse dens near Inwood. The limestone dens underground provide a cozy home to the snakes during harsh Manitoba winters.

But the snakes, which emit a smelly spray, can be a nuisance to their human neighbours.

O’Malley said the nooks, cracks and crannies in the Inwood Manor and under its crawlspace need to better sealed.

She said the snake scare Tuesday haunted her for the rest of the night. "In bed, every time the blanket touched my leg, I thought ‘Snake!’"

The snake issue wiggled its way into the Manitoba legislature Wednesday when Lakeside Tory MLA Ralph Eichler went after the NDP for ignoring the problem.

"I like snakes, but not in my bed," Eichler said.

Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh said officials would look into the issue immediately.

Eichler said snake-proofing the care home would be relatively simple, preventing them from crawling between walls and into the attic of the facility.
 

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