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Old 06-20-19, 10:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ungrateful little snek

Because I had to assist my kingsnake (Mango, about 7 mo - 20 g, 40 cm-ish) with two sheds, I thought I might need to make things a little bit more humid in his enclosure. I thought I might swap out the aspen shavings for some Reptisoil, coir fiber, bark mix - something that would hold a bit more humidity since I live in Utah (very dry).

I also thought I'd give it a background, put in a false bottom, add some plants, etc. because I thought it'd be fun and make it look nicer for me. Everything went pretty well and I was very happy with the setup.



Anyway, he escaped about two days later and I have not been able to find him.

The night before he escaped I saw him on top of the LED light I have inside his enclosure, looking around the top (clearly trying to look for an escape route). Me, with a healthy dose of hubris "Good thing I have a locking lid, he won't get out."

He got out.

I searched through all of the substrate and my wife dug around a bit in the LECA but found nothing. I really doubt that he would have gone in those clay balls. I checked the lid, and one of the back corners was just loose enough where he could have pushed it up and snuck out.

Anyway, we've done a good amount of cleaning, looking in drawers, shoes, behind our fridge, etc. to no avail.

This post isn't necessarily looking for tips (I read the thread by sdiamond when their kingsnake was missing), it's mostly for commiseration, but I'd also welcome any advice. I'm hoping I'll have one of the same moments that sdiamond did, where Mango just pops up in a place I've already looked. This is the sixth day of his escape.

tl;dr My kingsnake (Mango, about 7 mo - 20 g, 40 cm-ish) escaped after I upgraded his enclosure and has been missing for 6 days and it's no good.

Last edited by PanUzasny; 06-20-19 at 10:20 AM.. Reason: Trying to get picture to load
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Old 06-20-19, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

I'll say what I usually say in these sort of situations: best of luck, and don't give up hope. Six days may seem like a lot, but it's really not for a snake. With any luck, it'll pop up somewhere. You said you don't think he would have went in the clay balls . . . check anyway.

Mine was gone for about two weeks before I found her in the bathtub. So long as your's can't get out of the house or into the walls/ventilation, you probably have a decent shot at finding it. It'll eventually start looking for food or water.
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Old 06-20-19, 11:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement, Bandit. My wife did check around in the clay balls, but I haven't completely taken everything out of the tank. It may need to be my next step...
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Old 06-21-19, 03:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Best wishes for the return of your critter Pan!
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Old 06-23-19, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Thanks, Ziggy! Hopefully I'll have a happy post to make soon.
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Old 06-24-19, 03:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Thanks everyone for the encouragement, I found him this morning! Just slithering in my family room. He seems fine - lost about 1 gram in mass.



And then shortly later, it looked like he was planning his escape again.



I put some tape and weights on the back corners to make the enclosure more secure.

After several strikes and warnings (little guy was grumpy - first time he's done this to anyone as far as I know) I got him down and he readily ate the fuzzy I offered him.

I'm so happy he's back!
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Old 06-24-19, 05:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Yayy! Glad you found him!
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Old 06-24-19, 06:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Glad you found him!
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Old 06-26-19, 08:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Nice find! Congrats. Why don't you just grab some extra tank clips for the added security?
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Old 06-26-19, 09:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Awesome!!! I'm happy you found him!!

But, unless you secure that enclosure properly he WILL get out again. They are (as you've already learned) fantastic escape artists.

Also, just clarifying...the tape is OUTSIDE the enclosure right?
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Old 06-26-19, 11:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
Awesome!!! I'm happy you found him!!

But, unless you secure that enclosure properly he WILL get out again. They are (as you've already learned) fantastic escape artists.

Also, just clarifying...the tape is OUTSIDE the enclosure right?
Unfortunately, he did escape again, not even 24 hours after finding him. I was pretty frustrated - fool me once...and all that.

I thought that the tape on both corners plus the 2.5 lb weights on each back corner would be enough. FYI, the tape is all on the outside, although a small portion of the sticky side would technically be exposed to the inside of the tank.

I now believe that instead of simply pushing the lid up, he escaped through a small gap in a corner that has built-in notches for placing cords. I had placed an LED light inside the enclosure and the cord is slightly too big for those built-in notches. Because of the size mismatch, it pushed down on the plastic creating a gap.

This shows the corner (not my tank)


I'm still surprised that he escaped through the tape.



I'm planning on 3D-printing a part to fit in the gap and securing it in place with silicone. I'll also do another check on the lid to make sure there are no more gaps. Hopefully, I can actually resolve the problem this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert Clark View Post
Nice find! Congrats. Why don't you just grab some extra tank clips for the added security?
Albert, I'll need to look into this as well to give myself some extra security. I'm not sure if they will work with my lid - mine is partially plastic and not completely flat. What do you think? (Representative pic of my lid below.)

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Old 06-26-19, 11:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Yeah, these little guys are fantastic at escaping. And until the enclosure is properly secured he'll keep getting out.

And as far as the tape goes you want to make 100000% sure the snake can't come in contact with the tape. Tape is extremely dangerous for snakes. It can result in horrible scale damage and even death. I saw one case that the animal got stuck on the tape, thrashed and flailed to get free and ended u breaking it's neck and dying.

So it would be in your best interest to get that enclosure fixed up properly ASAP. Otherwise you're likely to lose the snake for good or end up with an injured or deceased animal.
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Old 06-26-19, 12:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

Thanks, craig - that is good to know about the tape. I definitely don't want to him to end up injured or dead so I'll make sure I have another better solution ready to go.
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Old 06-26-19, 12:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Ungrateful little snek

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Originally Posted by PanUzasny View Post
Thanks, craig - that is good to know about the tape. I definitely don't want to him to end up injured or dead so I'll make sure I have another better solution ready to go.
Sounds good!! I'd hate for anybody to have to learn that lesson the hard way.
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