In early June 2009 Steve found One-eyed Willie in the creek that flows through the Pioneer Village after a night of heavy rains. Willie was probably washed into the creek from his hidey-hole during the rains. Willie is a hatchling and was only just a bit larger than a quarter as you can see in this photo!!
Willie had a terrible eye and ear infection--it was so bad that both eyes were swollen shut and he could not see. After a visit to the vet and some antibiotics and daily soaks in a vitamin and electrolyte bath One-eyed Willie opened one eye and began eating everything he could stuff in his mouth! His other eye has not opened so Willie has no depth perception and he misses the things he tries to bite...
...so we have to hand feed him by skewering tiny insects and worms and hold them in front of him until he opens his mouth then we stick the food item in his mouth and CHOMP! He eats it right down!
Hopefully one day One-eyed Willie's other eye will open and he will be just Willie.
March 01, 2011. Willie is doing very well. Throughout 2010 he gobbled up many snails, slugs and mushrooms but he did not grow very much. He had his eye checked out by Dr. Coleman who believes that Willie does not have a right eye...so he really is One Eyed Willie. He has been in his winter torpor now for several months and today he awoke and came out for some food. Hopefully 2011 will be his year to grow bigger and stronger.