Petra's Story

So this is Petra. I rescued her a few years ago. She had been in a house that was destroyed by a tornado, and she was about to be released into the wild by people that didn’t know any better. I knew that she would not survive, as she was born in captivity (to my knowledge) and albino.
I had never had a kingsnake before. I was primarily, and still am, a Ball Python kinda girl, but I loved Petra right from the start.
Now don’t misunderstand, I did not love her because she was calm and docile, and like to watch TV with me. She was none of those things. She was, in fact, the polar opposite. She did not like to be handled, so I tried to keep that to a minimum. She bit me several times anyway. I was okay with that, she had been through a lot. She had personality though. She like to burrow into her bedding and pop her head out like a jack-in-the-box if you made any noise near her enclosure. She seemed to know when I was preparing a F/T mouse for her (even if I was across the room with my back to her), because she would move back and forth rapidly, impatient, until I opened her cage. Then she would go into “hunt mode”, even though all she really had to do was take the mouse from the tongs. Also, as you can see in the photos (and I have many more like them), she was a little vain, and liked to pose. I loved her for her sassiness.
A few weeks ago, my home caught fire due to a live power line falling on the roof. The fire actually began in the ceiling of the room I kept my animals in. We were able to get them all out, but I got some sad news yesterday. A dear friend of mine is fostering my snakes until my family and I can find better living arrangements, and yesterday he called me to tell me Petra had passed. We both believe that she contracted a respiratory infection from the smoke and soot she had to have inhaled, and that, combined with the stress (and possibly her age, as we have no idea how old she was), was just too much. Her symptoms of distress appeared very suddenly yesterday morning and she was gone by the afternoon.
I just wanted to tell her story - the kingsnake that survived a tornado and a house fire. I don’t know if she even liked me, but I loved her. The last time I held her she bit me…and I wish it would have left a scar.
Goodbye sassy girl, you will be missed.


So very sorry for the loss. That’s a great story. But I have to admit, the line about the scar made this old redneck shed a tear.

She had an adventurous life. And won’t be forgotten.


I am so sorry. Such a sweet face, and a snappy personality. I’m glad she had a good home with you. You gave her everything you could, and we’re keeping you in our thoughts.


RIP Petra. You were certainly well-loved.

@rb796, I’m so sorry for all that you’re going through. Losing an animal on top of dealing with a house fire, stressors upon stressors. Please know that the people here care about you.


I’m so sorry that you’re going through so much misfortune. :heart: My heart breaks for your loss of Petra, sounds like she was a wonderful little character! I admire your dedication in finding care for your pets even after such a terrible event happening out of nowhere.

I have been around many animals that have survived house fires and you’re correct, it’s not uncommon for them to pass away later on because of smoke inhalation. But be reassured- there’s little (if anything at all) that could have been done differently, you provided excellent care by finding her a temporary caretaker.

Hang in there! My thoughts are with you, sincerely. :heart:


@rb796 Oh my goodness what a beautiful story. God bless you for sharing it with us. It’s funny how something like a sassy little snake can change your life forever leaving a mark on your heart. :heart: And sometimes break it in the process.

I have a tiny little spicy gray banded Kingsnake named Petra. From now on your little Petra’s memory will live on with me. This community is here for you anytime you need comfort. :snake::heart:


Thank you all for your kind words and support. It has been a very rough time for me and my family, and losing Petra was/is really hard for me. I am glad that I was able to tell her story to people that can truly appreciate it, and that understand how much I cared about her.
I wish you all the best.