Hello, so I’m using a vision cage with a lock, the vent is still secure and the doors weren’t moved as far as I can tell. Was going to try to feed today for the first time (got him in last Friday, Tuesday today) but I couldn’t find my snake in his enclosure. For background info this is my first pet reptile so I’m really inexperienced with where they might be, and also there is quite a deep layer of substrate (aspen, using sani-chips). He is also very young, born last September so quite small. I removed both the warm and cool side hide, did some combing through the substrate all around with my fingers, moved the decor and did the same, but no luck at all.
Is there a trick to finding a snake that is burrowed? I tried moving the food around by where it looked like he had started a burrow but that didn’t seem to do anything. Or does it seem like he could have gotten out somehow? It seems unlikely to me personally as the only space possible for it is the tiny gap between the doors of the enclosure, but like I said I am very inexperienced so maybe I’m wrong in that. Any help would be appreciated greatly!
Often you’ll have to wait until he comes out. It’s unlikely he escaped, if there are only small gaps. I personally would wait a week before digging him up, but if you’re really worried about it you can do it now. If you want to dig it out, I would take all of the decor out and stack all of the substrate along one side of the enclosure. Then take small handfuls of substrate and move them one at a time, to the other side of the enclosure. It might take a while, but you’ll find him (just don’t pick up large amounts at once, because he could be inside that and you won’t find him).
I used to work for one of the big box pet stores… one of the things that the average employee forgets (and I constantly tried to drill into my team…) is that the decor sometimes has holes in the bottom.
With a snake that loves to dig an hide, if that’s the case with your decor, they may be inside. I wouldn’t do anything drastic yet, but you may need to pick up some snips and carefully chip away at things if they refuse to come out.
I’ve had luck in the past with teasing them out with something like a pinky mouse on tongs before though, so maybe that will help.
I hope you find your little one!
Another hiding place in vision cages is around the door. They’re built with a lip that goes all the way around that can hide a small snake.
Welcome to the forum!
Definitely look in the inner lip of the enclosure. If he’s not there (or up inside a piece of decor), he’s probably just curled up under the substrate somewhere.
Keep in mind that snakes can coil themselves up and make themselves smaller than you’d expect. The last time I cleaned out my sand boa’s cage, I started to get concerned because I’d scooped out about 3/4 of the substrate already and hadn’t seen any sign of her (and she’s an adult female, so she’s a big girl by sand boa standards). Finally, as I started scooping out the last bit in a corner on the warm end, I saw the substrate starting to twitch, and sure enough, there she was. She’d just jammed herself into the corner and curled up tightly. But there were a few minutes there when I was starting to question if she could have gotten out, even though I know the enclosure is secure. They’re really good at hiding when they want to!