Monday, August 11, 2008

In-House Snake Adventures

All of my snakes are escape artists. The snakes are cared for so well (better than I care for my own health) that you wouldn't think that they would ever try to escape, but that is just the nature of snakes. Their instincts prompt them to explore their world. About a year ago my Mexican Black Kingsnake was found to be out of its terrarium. I told my son not to tell his mom about this. The last thing I want my wife to know is that she has a 4 foot black snake loose in the house. That is her worst nightmare and it doesn't do much for my campaign to keep snakes as pets. My son and I frantically searched the basement until I found the snake behind the stereo system. The snake rattled his tail and was very defensive as if he was being collected from the wild. One of our baby Corn Snakes got out of a terrarium that was as tall as the snake was long. It should not have been able to get to the top, but I guess Corn Snakes are incredible climbers, just like they are said to be. The Corn Snake was later found when I was running hot water to thaw some frozen pinky mice and he came out of the sink. One day this past week I went down to do the usual inspections and maintenance and the first thing I noticed was that one of the clamps on the Arizona Mountain Kingsnake's cage was not down all the way (darn kids). I checked the cage and he was gone. This is bad. An Arizona Mountain Kingsnake (Pyromelana) is one of the most secretive snakes that I know of. They spend almost their entire lives hidden at the bottom of rock piles and almost never surface. If my captive bred Pyro is anything like his wild relatives, I might not see him again until next spring. For now I go down to the basement quickly at night and check around everywhere. I have tried to get my Dachshund to sniff out the snake, but everything in my basement probably smells like snakes. I might start leaving out some thawing mice to draw him out. For now, I feel pretty dumb going out to look for snakes when there is one that needs to be found in my house.