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Old 10-09-19, 08:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Extremely defensive zebra carpet, advice?

So a few months back I purchased a hatchling zebra carpet python. Currently she is in a 10 gallon aquarium with a screen lid, and I have most of the screen covered to maintain humidity. She has eaten once a week without fail and is always eager for food. Her humidity sits around 40 percent and her hot end has an ambient temp of 88-92F degrees with a basking perch measuring about 95F degrees. Cool end is generally in the low-to-mid 70s.

I can put my hand in the cage without incident and she doesn’t bite, but whenever I attempt to handle her I get bitten several times. It doesn’t hurt or anything but I don’t want to stress her out. The last month or so I have avoided handling her as I recently moved apartments and wanted her to settle in. The last week I recently started handling again, sometimes just placing my hand in the cage and other times trying to handle her, always getting tagged in the process. Should I handle her more? Or less? I feel as though there’s a fine line between stress and “socialization”. I know snakes don’t necessarily become socialized in that capacity, I suppose “tolerant” is a better description. My one main concern is that, when she is handled, her vent seems to bulge and prolapse and she always urinates or defecates. Prior to handling and shortly afterwards, her vent looks totally healthy. I’m just a bit concerned with getting her acclimated without causing undue stress and would like some advice.
It’s worth noting that I’ve raised a spotted python from a few months of age to about 5yrs old to date; not a total novice but definitely can learn more.
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