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Old 11-10-17, 05:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
SerpentineDream's Avatar
Join Date: Dec-2015
Posts: 528
Re: Aggressive/Scared King Snake

Is this a snake you've had for a long time or is he fairly new to you? Do you know if he's captive bred or wild caught? Is there another, new pet in the house?

Yeah, there are lots of questions because there are lots of potential causes.

Sometimes it's just as simple as not washing your hands before handling and they catch the smell of food / other pets / whatever on your hands. If you smell like food... chomp!

Once you've been bitten for the first time you tend to get a little gunshy around the snake and move hesitantly around it. Rather than confidently picking the snake up or matter-of-factly scooping poo you kind of creep, trying not to freak it out. This behavior actually makes the snake feel suspicious of your intentions, because predators creep. If you handle it gingerly it's afraid it might be dropped. Try to be straightforward and confident in your interactions with your guy (in other words, fake it 'til you make it).

I suggest using a snake hook to pick up your snake, then transferring him to your hands. A hook is less threatening than a hand and if that gets bitten there's no harm done. Once out of the cage most tame snakes are fine. But sometimes you reach your hand in and they're asleep, cranky, hungry, etc. This is why I now usually hook even my gentlest snakes.

If you are bitten don't try to pull away or yank the snake off you. You're likely to hurt his mouth and tear your skin or get a tooth embedded in the bite. Just wait for him to let go. He will, even if it takes a while. Then wash the bite, check for teeth in the wound (tweezers will remove those) and put some antiseptic on it. Good as new.

The first time I got bitten it took a while to gain confidence back. Of course, now I've been bitten so many times that unless I'm profusely bleeding it barely even registers anymore.
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