Any One Ever Move And Brought Zoo With Them?

I was curious since I keep wanting to move out of state but it seems daunting bringing along a bunch of reptiles and enclosures. How did you guys keep temps while on the move? I’d assume heat packs? What type of vehicle did ya’ll transport in? It sounds scary as hell to me when I think of how a long drive (especially if it was a fee days) would affect the animals health. I’d obviously also have to ensure my pets are legal in what ever state I moved to. Is it even legal to transport reptiles cross state lines?


I moved from Ohio to Idaho and back. Basically I planned things out carefully and shipped them out the day before and then picked them up after getting off the plane the next day from a FedEx hub close by.

If you are needing to drive though and if your travel will be multiple days, advice will depend on what species you have. More sensitive animals will need to be transported and temperature controlled more carefully.

Most reptiles are legal to cross state lines, but you definitely need to check the regulations in the state you are moving to.


I assume you shipped all their envlosures first and had them held somewhere? Upon arriving how fast were u able to get the animals back into their enclosures? Its just mind boggling to me lol Makes my head hurt just thinking of the logistics of it all.

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I did a 2 day drive with a bunch of corn snakes once (and then back again!). Thankfully they’re a hardy species. I put all of the larger ones in snake bags and the smaller ones in little containers and then put all of them in a big Styrofoam cooler with a a small ice pack that was wrapped in multiple layers of towel. I was traveling across Arizona in the summer up to northern Nevada. I was worried about the air conditioning being able to reach them, which is why I added a little ice pack. I had to stay one night in a hotel, so I brought the big cooler in with me. I did not tell the hotel that I had snakes, although it was a pet friendly hotel (I had my dog with me too). In the hotel, I opened each container to check on them all and give them a drink of water. The ice pack plus cooler worked too well actually and they were all pretty cold. So I ditched the ice pack for the second day of driving (plus it wasn’t as hot now). As far as enclosures, that would definitely be tougher. I brought a bunch of tubs for them, although they normally lived in tanks, because the space I was going to be living in was way too small for tanks.


I had them all in temporary tubs for a few days while the Pod arrived with the enclosures. I brought lengths of heat tape and thermostats with me in my luggage so I could set them up quickly once I got to my new place.


Awesome…Thanks for the replies. I congratulate ya’ll on getting all your bebesssssss to their destination in one piece. If I do go thru with the move I’ll definitely plan way ahead of time since I’m one of them worrywarts lol.

How’d your animals handle the change in not just scenery but home humidity levels, temps etc If any change? I know our reptile’s enclosures/homes are kind of their own biosphere and as long as the temps/humidity n husbandry is on point it does not matter much where that enclosure has a home. I’d still like to know if the animals themselves changed their normal behavier much…Later on down the line.


I moved across country when I was 18. I sold some of my animals and the others were cared for by my family until I was in a position to take them. I did not have the enclosures shipped. I bought new enclosures, set them up, had the snakes shipped and then my family sold the enclosures.


This is a great thread! Since my last move, I’ve become disabled, so I’m very nervous. At some point this year (hopefully- plans are up in the air), I need to figure out how to move ~20/30 leopard geckos and their enclosures (which I cannot afford to re-purchase at this point) and all equipment across the USA (from near Portland, OR to near Washington DC).

I don’t have any friends in the Portland area that would be willing/able to help in any way. Though I technically have some family, I haven’t talked to them in decades. I have family in the DC area- two parents in their 70s, one of whom is super disabled, and one sister (who is expecting) and her hubby, both of whom need to work. None of my family on the East coast are willing to handle loose reptiles.

To further complicate things, I honestly need to keep my car, which means it has to be driven across the country. This is a huge deal because my major disability is my hands- I have pain 24/7 in both hands, and it gets much worse when handling heavy things or having to grip things. (It’s called complex regional pain syndrome.)

But you guys have given me some ideas! Now I feel less hopeless! :smiley:


Would’nt this forum be a great place to ask for help with your animals? I would help a fellow in this situation if I lived nearby. Sweden is a bit far, though…

Or maybe that’s against the forum rules? :grimacing:

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No, it’s not against our rules… However, I would recommend extreme caution when inviting a bunch of people to your home and to handle your collection… You never know who’s a serial killer… my bets on @lumpy :crazy_face:


LOL, no I am not, I love to help in anyway possible.


Denial first sign of a problem… Just kidding Riley! Lol


Fair point…


I did this once. 40 snakes and a bird and 3 cats. It was not too far but it was difficult.
My vivs were not a problem, But I had some really heavy melamine chipboard home built racks.
The removal people refused to lift them. I had to do it with some friends.
As for the animals, I moved them in shifts in my car. Luckily it was really hot summer day so I did not have to worry about heating with my car getting so hot in the sun.
Again luckily, I had kept all the lids to my Tubs.


What if I’m a serial killer, and I’m trying to lure fellow herpers to their deaths?? Sort of a weird M.O. for a serial killer. And, since I really am disabled, it would be super physically challenging for me. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m just not cut out for any killing, much less serial killings. :woman_shrugging:

Here are my thoughts thus far:

  • I could talk my parents or sister (on the East coast) through setting up some heating pads on a thermostat, on a safe surface in their basement, in a room inaccessible to their dogs.
  • I, still on the West coast, after I’m sure anything they’ve eaten has been digested, can package up and mail my geckos to my family, as well as get everything all set in order for the moving of their enclosures & the rest of my stuff via hired movers.
  • My family receives the packages of my geckos, and then set their securely closed containers on top of the heating pads. I’m thinking I’d set a temp towards the lower end of their range, as I think overheating is a potential concern.
  • Once the movers have left with my stuff, I drive my car (and cat) across the country.

What do you guys think?


That sounds like it would work good. I would recommend using heat tape and tubs instead of heat pads to avoid risks of heating too much of the enclosure. I would send them everything to make sure the equipment is right and give them instructions and have them send pictures to make sure everything is set up right (you can never be too careful). You also have to make sure that your family would be willing to drop everything when the package is delivered to make sure the geckos don’t spend too long in the package. Are you planning to ship many small boxes or (what I recommend) a large box with all or most of them in there.


I talked to my mother about all these ideas while we were discussing the move, and apparently my dad has decided that he wants to help, and that his way of helping will be to drive my car across the country with one of his buddies. I couldn’t help but chuckle. The idea of my dad & his friend going on a cross-country adventure in my car, but without me, is pretty funny!

Then my mom decided that she wants me to package them myself, ship them myself, then fly (as @fatalis did) so I can be there to get them all set when the packages arrive.

I figure, if it helps them be less stressed out, so long as their plan seems solid, I’m ok with doing things their way. Parents, man. :wink:

But definitely, we have talked about how we will need to be on facetime for me to give instructions and monitor, should any equipment need to be set up or adjusted. My dad is retired, and I’m pretty sure he’d be ok with being available for any packages as needed.