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Old 12-22-03, 06:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
Oliverian's Avatar
Join Date: Jun-2003
Location: Oliver, BC
Age: 28
Posts: 973
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Why do I listen??

Well, if you all remember I told you about skate, the corn snake who escaped for about a month and was found in the hockey gear. We're having a new cage built for him right now, and he's currently being housed in a modified rubbermaid with a large square area of mesh in the lid. The mesh was taped down really well on both sides (top and bottom of the lid) with this clear packing tape, and it was holding very well. My mom was getting pretty stressed though, because she didn't think that tape was strong enough to hold him in. She wanted me to use duct tape, because she thought it was stronger. So, after many days of nagging and lecturing, I finally just got frustrated and conformed. I took off the packing tape and put on the duct tape. I made sure it was secure and everything, and then I went to do other things.

About an hour later, I go back in there, and I look and see skate up under the lid. My first impression was 'Oh look, he's trying to escape again,' but then I looked a little closer and saw he was UNDERNEATH the duct tape, and wasn't moving. The tape must have peeled back, and he tried to escape and stuck himself to it.

I carefully ripped off the tape with the snake attached, and took him into the bathroom. I ran a sink of warm water, and put him in there with his head up. You wouldn't believe how stressful this is. He's not just a little stuck, his skin is flattened out all along his body and totally stuck to the tape. I'm just glad he didn't get his face or eyes stuck. His vent was out a bit, and it was stuck, too. This is totally freaking me out, as I don't know if I'll be able to get him off without damaging his skin... There were even some scales stuck to the tape around his body, so he must have been trying to thrash around and get off. Of course, that had only gotten him more stuck.

It took me a good hour and a half of soaking and trying to peel him off the tape without hurting him to finally get him off. I had to roll the tape around and stretch it out to loosen it, and even that wasn't helping much. It was really hard to have my little snake so helpless and stressed. I got him off by pushing his skin back off the tape slowly, and eventually just peeling his body off. He's still got some sticky stuff left on him, but I'm not about to take it off. It will come off with the next shed.

This all happened two days ago. That was his feeding day, but I waited until today to feed him to make sure everything was alright. It was very stressful. It's just like having one of your kids have a near death experience. Once I got him off the tape, I broke down and started crying. He's doing well, though, and ate his pinky fine. I have him in a large critter keeper for now. It's smalle than the rubbermaid, but I don't want to deal with tape anymore, specifically duct tape.

That's the last time I listen to my parents about something reptile related. I'll just do it my way, and I should have done it my way all along. Jeez. Anyways, skate is fine, although he does have some torn scales and stuff, but he's due to shed soon, so he'll be fine. That snake has been through more than his share of trauma for a lifetime. He's the only one who's had such bad experiences. I'm going to be very careful what I do from now on, as I don't want to cause any more unneeded stress. I'm just glad I could get the poor thing off the tape without too much damage. His vent was fine. I think he musked when he got stuck, and that helped a little to prevent it getting stuck. I'm just glad he's doing well.

Tammy Rehbein
-You can search all day for something and never find it, only to see it in the most obvious of places after you've stopped looking.-

Last edited by Oliverian; 12-22-03 at 06:20 PM..
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