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Old 08-31-04, 08:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul-2003
Location: ON
Posts: 528
Lost and Found...again!

Hey folks,

whew! My second escapee has turned up today after 5 days on the loose, so I'm 2/2 on recovery.

The first escapee was a yearling cal king. She (as near as I can tell) slipped out between the panes of glass in my slding glass custom melamine cage. I cant see any other way she could have gotten out. After 2 days, I heard a bag rustling in the night. She was trying to crawl into a bag full of baby toys next to the closet.

Second escape: last Thursday from the same cage. This time an '04 female bullsnake. She is actually larger in girth than the 03 cal king, so I felt safe putting her in our mimum security penn. Unfortunately I left the door ajar after feeding, and she bailed. My wife heard her moving around late this morning and found her under the chair on the opposite side of the room.

In case i's helpful to anyone, here's what I did in both cases:

First sealed off the ensuite bathroom because there's a hole in the wall under the sink, and I did NOT want them getting inside the walls.

Next, searched THOROUGHLY outside the bedroom in the hallway, and as much as possible in the nearby rooms. Since both escapes were detected quickly, in both cases I concluded they had not left our bedroom. I spread powder across our bedroom doorway (to detect passage), and tried to keep the door closed as much as possible.

Since I have a LOT of clutter in my room, each day I searched THOROUGHLY an area of the room, and cordoned it off with a bit of powder on the floor so I could tell if a snake crossed it. If it remained undisturbed, I would know that it was still clean.

Put a number of plastic grocery bags on the floor to provide rustling noise should a snake go over/under/in them.

Slept with my mag-lite next to the bed.

Listened in complete silence every night before going to sleep. This is actually how we found the cal king.

Both snakes had just fed when the escapes happened (how a yearling cal-king slipped between the panes with a large fuzzy in her belly, I'll never know), so I never got to this point, but after a week on the loose, my plan was to put out a mouse every second or third night. I was going to put a heat pad on the floor, a plastic bag (for noise) on the heat pad, and a thawed fuzzy on the bag.

Just a comment, after 2 days of freedom, the cal-king was pretty bitey for a while after. She has also been a picky feeder ever since, eating only about every 2-3 weeks. I hope it doesn't disrupt my bull's feeding because she was an awesome feeder.

1 adult bull snake: "Dozer"; 1.1 juvenile bull snakes: Oscar and Phoebe; 3 baby red-sided garters; 1.1 macklot's pythons
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