Dilemma regarding escaped snake

Need opinions…what would you do? Being stuck makes me dwell and I’m a worst case thinker as it is. Here’s the situation; I have a friend who comes once a week to help me clean and feed reptiles. I give her rats free but of course it’s not equal value, she says she likes to help. Last week she had to bring her kid, he’s like 4. My son(who is 26) says he saw her kid opening tubs where I now have a missing snake. Obvious conclusion, the kid let it out… if it were my kid who let someone’s snake out I’d be there searching until you told me to go home (especially if I knew you were less physically able to search yourself) and if all hope was lost (it is a very small colubrid) I would be offering to replace it…am I offbase here?

Snake discovery on youtube made a vid about how to track down a snake if it gets loose. What species has this happened with? I would try to track it down (maybe using the methods in the vid unless it managed to get outside in which case I would respectfully discuss it with the friend). In any case I would ask said friend to keep the kid away from the enclosures unless your there to show an animal or two to the kid. I hope you find the missing serpent.


If you don’t end up finding the snake, I would definitely ask your friend to replace or give you the cost of the snake since it was their negligence in not watching their kid that lead to this. If they refuse, then I would consider small claims court. That kind of thing would make me reconsider having them as a friend if they won’t take responsibility for what their kid caused. All that said, Snake Discovery on YouTube does have a video on ways to possibly get your snake back. Make sure they don’t bring their kid over again, or if they do, make sure they actually watch them.

One thing at a time. Let’s exhaust all options before we go after our friend.

Accidents happen. I hope you find it!

1 Like

I think since your son saw her kid open tubs then it would only make sense that he let the snake out if you haven’t had a loose snake problem before and if the snake went missing right around the same time he was there, so yes it would be fair to ask for her to replace the snake or pay you the cost of the snake. Accidents can happen so I think that it could be appropriately addressed in a nice way and the snake getting out could be a good lesson to keep a better eye on both the kid and the tubs. If I were you I would first wait a week or so before asking her to replace it because maybe the snake turns up before then. Good luck and I hope it all works out!

Did your son see if she was around? Children can bee quick and even if you try your best as a parent you can never prevent everything, expecially if your busy yourself too.

If she did see it your right, she should have searched till you send her home and offer to replace, but it is possible she doesn’t know either. I think it is fair to tell her now that you are missing a snake from when she was at your place with her son. And that your son saw her own son opening the tubs. Not in a angry or blaming way but at least let her know. If she didn’t know she might offer searching or replacing the snake by herself. Who knows, she might be equally shocked by the event and it gives her the chance to tell her side, address the son and come with own solution. Then if you don’t find the snake and you confront her it will not come as a sudden surprise and you can come to a solution together.

If she doesn’t want to help you or look for a sollution then it depends on the emotional and financial value of the snake what to do. If it is a snake without to much value I would not go to court but just see it as a lesson, because it shows you what your friendship is worth. You can decide if you still want here coming around with or without child.

If it is a valuable snake then I would ask her to pay for replacing, or consider court. But I don’t know how difficult or easy that is in your country. Here in Holland everyone is expected to get a “legally responsibility inshurance” so if me or my child, or even my dog let’s a snake excape or damages anyonce property I just claim it to my inshurance and the pay it. So a court case is hardly ever needed.

I really hope you find your snake. But if not I hope you can work something out together.

if it were my kid who let someone’s snake out I’d be there searching until you told me to go home (especially if I knew you were less physically able to search yourself) and if all hope was lost (it is a very small colubrid) I would be offering to replace it…am I offbase here?

That’s what most responsible people with common sense would do, sadly those days the lack of both is pretty common.

That is one of the reasons I never wanted to expand and only keep what I can handle on my own.

Hopefully you will find your snake and have a talk with her and decide whether you want her to keep helping or not and if you decide to have her keep helping set rules.

Sometimes having friends working for you is not the best, and it can easily tear apart the friendship, you have to see how much you value that friendship.

If you do decide to bring it up to your friend, i would do it way that it is not accusatory. Maybe something along the lines of “hey one of my snakes got out from the last time you were here, would you keep an eye out or mind helping me look. Also my son said he saw your son opening a couple of the tubs without you near by, just for his safety could you just make sure that he doesn’t do that next time.” It is kind of hard situation to approach for sure, especially if you value that persons friendship.

the only problem with taking someone to court is you must show the burden of proof. they have no way short of video evidence to prove that is was the fault of the child the snake got out. Even with your son seeing the child opening tubs you have no way of knowing 100% that he opened that tub and let the snake out and then shut it again.
Hopefully you find the little guy safe and sound. I have heard of ones showing up months after they went missing.

1 Like

Always a little heartbreaking to lose a loved pet. If I could, I would recommend dropping the child from the discussion. If a parent, employee, volunteer, son, whatever adult was there is responsible. Whether a formal work environment or not, the business representative (your son), and the childs mom are the two who should assume responsibility. Hopefully your little noodle pops up soon and the two adults behave more responsibly with a child in the snake room.

1 Like