Confession: Escaped corn snake - feeling guilty

Hi everyone,

I feel absolutely horrible. I’ve been talking about my corn snake Ember for a while, when in reality she escaped June 10th. When she first escaped I panicked. I read all the threads on here and info on other sites. I have torn my apartment apart more times than I can count trying to find her. I’ve looked in, under, and around all furniture. Pulled the appliances out to check for her. I have water bowls out, I’ve tried leaving food out (always goes uneaten), I have hides out, tried the plastic bags along the walls (never heard anything), literally every tip that was feasible for me to try, I did. But I never found her. I didn’t want to give up hope, so when I made my community account, I talked about her like I still had her. But now I feel like a liar. I also feel horrendously guilty for her escaping in the first place because I know how she got out. I just didn’t think she could fit through a hole that small. Anyway… I just wanted to come clean and try to accept reality. I do not have a corn snake. She’s gone. I’m sorry I lied. I know part of it too is feeling like a horrible snake owner and not wanting to admit that to a community that keeps snakes. But I need to be honest and I need to accept that Ember isn’t coming back. Again, I’m sorry. I’ve been considering not getting the other snakes I’ve mentioned in other posts because I just feel so guilty about losing Ember that I don’t know if I deserve more snakes. I guess everything just hit me today that it’s been 2 months and she’s most likely never coming back. I’m sorry for the long post, and I’m sorry for lying. I’m not looking for advice or anything. Just wanted to come clean.

12 Likes

Sorry to hear that. Don’t give up hope, I’ve seen stories of snakes missing for months turning up alive and well. Don’t feel guilty, it’s something which eventually happens to every snake keeper. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but someday, it probably will.

9 Likes

Thank you. I’ve heard that this happens to everyone eventually, but it still sucks. I’ve also heard corn snakes are particularly notorious for escaping. But I took pride in how meticulous I was about care - monitoring temps multiple times per day, monitoring humidity, making sure she got enrichment, trying my best to give her the best snake life possible. I had to make a bigger hole in her enclosure when I got a new thermostat because the probe was bigger than my old one. And that’s how she got out. I even had the thought “I wonder if she can fit through there? Nah… She’s too big” and that’s why I feel so guilty. I should’ve just plugged up that little hole and I didn’t. Lesson learned but holy cow it’s a crappy way to learn this lesson. I appreciate your reply though. Thanks again

11 Likes

Snakes are all basically Houdini. They can fit trough holes you would never think. It really does happen to everyone and it’s scary.

Just last Christmas we didn’t see our lizard for a couple of days. This sometimes happens when he shedding but we were starting to worry. One night we were sitting in the living room and our Xmas tree shook. A lot. I looked at my wife and said “that was bigger than a mouse”. It was our lizard jumping out of the tree. My son still brings it up and giggles.

I get the guilt, but don’t feel guilty. You can’t beat your self up for what you don’t know. Now know and you can improve.

11 Likes

Thank you for your response, and for sharing your story. You’re right, now I know and I will be better prepared if I do decide to get another snake in the future. Still struggling with guilt, but I’m trying not to beat myself up too much. I also still struggle to accept she’s gone because people keep telling me she could turn up at any time. Hence why I talked about her like I still had her, but that just made me feel more guilty - like I was lying to everyone and myself. I was still hoping she’d show up, but at this point it’s getting less likely and I need to accept that. I miss her dearly though. She was my first snake and a dream come true. Such a beautiful, gentle, curious soul. It’s just… Hard

9 Likes

I wouldn’t say keeping yourself positive by acting as if she wasn’t missing is lying. As you know, own long enough and everyone in this hobby loses an animal at some point. It was literally me last week and that one was more my own fault than something like a hole for a probe. I stuck a baby in an open space and took my eyes off of him for a moment. All it took. I ended up finding him almost two days later, when I took a break and let myself not worry he showed up. While I was relatively lucky finding him so early, I have two other snakes in my possession that went missing on their owners before being found, one for six months, the other for eighteen. That’s a year and a half! You made a mistake, it happens. Snakes, especially young corns, are incredibly good at finding their way out even in the most secure places. You can’t blame yourself for an animal behaving like an animal.

9 Likes

I really like this. Thank you. Also 6 and 18 months??? Oh my goodness I might be in this for the long haul, but it’s also making me feel more hopeful that she’ll show up eventually. I just hope I find her before my lease is up in June and I have to move. I still have water out and her enclosure is still on the floor and open, but after a month I did pick up the plastic bags because I never heard any crinkling and the clutter was driving me crazy. Thank you for the validation as well. My intention was to try to stay positive by sharing about Ember (I love her to death and used to talk about her all the time), but then it just made things worse. However, the consensus here seems to be that this happens to everyone and I shouldn’t feel too guilty. Thank you all for the support

9 Likes

With luck she’ll pop up when you least expect it. If you can and it won’t get you in trouble, maybe post a missing flyer? That way if she somehow manages to get into another apartment, they know where she belongs. Give yourself some grace, no one is the perfect pet owner.

5 Likes

I’m not sure I’m allowed to post flyers, and I didn’t want to cause a panic (not everyone likes snakes). However, I did tell my neighbors individually that she escaped, showed them what she looks like, and let them know she’s absolutely harmless. I asked them to contact me if they do find her, and I’ll come get her as soon as I can. I don’t think she got out of the building - I’m on the third floor. But anything is possible I suppose. I think she’s still in my apartment somewhere, because sometimes the water level in the smaller bowl I have out disappears quicker than I expect, but that’s just speculation and could be wishful thinking on my part

7 Likes

Sounds like you’ve got the right people on the lookout just in case. It’s good to be positive, maybe it is her sneaking a drink! Wishing you all the best in finding her, hopefully she pops up safe and sound when you least expect it.

8 Likes

Thank you so much @noodlehaus ! I really appreciate your kind words and support

7 Likes

Have you told your landlord? Landlords usually deal with any “pest” issues so it could help in your search. I really hope ember shows up!

7 Likes

OMG I think there is a snake in my house!:joy:

6 Likes

Hello @starchild26! First of all you will not be judged here because you are among friends! Also, as was stated above, if you’re a keeper of snake noodles you’re gonna lose a noodle at least once in your noodle keeping life!

Mind you, I have been keeping snakes off and on for years and during those years I have allowed the following to escape:

I CA boa - found him in a bookcase in his room ! Lol
1 house snake - found him along a baseboard in the hallway down from his room
1 hognose - found him in his room behind a bookcase
1 ball python - found - in her room
2 corn snakes - 1 found in his room
1 milk snake (escaped 3 times found 3 times-rehomed after that! Lol!

All of them showed back up except 1 corn snake if I remember correctly. At that time we lived in an ancient 2 story Victorian money pit with a cellar and a screened in porch.

I even accidentally let a baby milk snake escape at a Petsmart I was working at. It eventually showed back up. A customer spotted it in front of the fish display! Lol!

Does that make make me a bad keeper? Are you a bad keeper? NO! We are still good keepers, just keepers that make mistakes sometimes because we are HUMAN. And snakes don’t realize sometimes how good they have it, especially if they see a new little hole, nook or cranny.

Now all that aside, set your alarm for say around midnight and then get up and go turn the light on in the room where Ember’s enclosure is in. I found most of the escapees in the the room were there enclosures were. One time the milk was gone 8 months maybe? He turned up in his enclosure room. A couple of other times he turned up in the bathroom.

So try to get up in the middle of the night and turn the lights on in her room. You might see Ember in the middle of the floor. I do think she is somewhere in her enclosure room. Don’t give up either because it might be months before before she shows up and you have roughly 10 months before next June!

Just don’t beat yourself up or apologize for something that you did not do on purpose! We ALL make mistakes!

:pray::heart::snake:

10 Likes

Like they say
If you’ve never lost a Snake, you’ve never owned a snake.

My tiny house snake Sangfroid escaped a locked and sealed sterilite bin as a baby. 12g of little grey worm. I found him in the basement of my house by making a warm hide with his heat mat and thermostat, and putting a little bowl of water near it. I checked it every morning and guess who?

You did your best, so don’t give up the chance that you might run into that snake again. Even the best keepers lose a snake just because that’s what snakes do best- take off and find somewhere to hide.

8 Likes

@caron thank you so much for the kind words and reassurance. I’m glad you were able to find the majority of your snakes, and that gives me hope that Ember will show up eventually.

I actually haven’t heard of this tip yet, I will definitely try it. Thank you so much!

7 Likes

I just suggested this because several of my guys showed up this way so like you say it’s worth a try………:thinking:

7 Likes

@athleticshoelace oh you had a tiny baby! I’m glad you found them! Thank you for the encouragement. It really seems true that most of us have had a snake escape at some point. I do feel better knowing I’m not alone, and also not a horrible keeper for losing her. Seems even experienced keepers have escapees

8 Likes

Sorry to hear this but like everyone has said, it happens. Lets take a journey into my situations (yeah more than one). Had a garter snake when i was 14 (im 46 now). She got out somehow, cant remember. I looked everywhere. It was winter. I felt horrible thinkong she froze to death. Well i walk in my bedroom 6 months later and there she was on my bed. Another time it was a nile monitor i was 19. He was about 4 feet long and i was holding him. Thinking it was ok just to let him down on the bed, he squeezed through a hole in the screen window. Never saw him again and that was in MD he couldnt have survived the winter. There was another snake after that when i was in my 20’s. It happens to us all at any care level.
Did you try flour by doorways? Itll leave a trail. Youll atleast know which of the two rooms they are in and they are still around. Itll be ok. A lot of us have been there.

8 Likes

@colubridcollector I haven’t tried flour because I also have a dog that would just track it everywhere and make a mess. The good news is he hasn’t found Ember yet either. He hasn’t even been acting weird or sniffing a certain area, which really makes me wonder if she’s sticking to the room her enclosure is in. My dog would be used to that room smelling like a snake. I’ve been keeping a close eye on him when I’m home though, in case he does alert me to Ember. Also I’m sorry about your Nile monitor :disappointed:

8 Likes