Unfortunately, there’s a loud aquarium in that room. I wouldn’t be able to hear anything over it if I were sleeping. I’m just planning on checking the hides a few times a day and spending a while at night listening/searching with a flashlight. Thanks for the suggestion though!
Back in the day I heard people would put masking tape strips sticky side up on the ground by the baseboards and stick those round bells to them and then sleep in the room. You get the idea. I would not leave such a tape trap down unattached as you’ll want to get the snake out of the tape ASAP.
I know in general you don’t ever want to put any kind of tape in a snake’s enclosure, but this is different.
I gotta say, it sounds like a BIG coincidence that the snake “escapes” when you are on vacation and you leave the snake in someone else’s care. And I don’t believe in coincidences.
The more I think of it, the harder to believe it sounds. However, the person who was taking care of the snakes is someone whom I trust very much. They have taken care of the snakes while I’ve been away many times, without an issue. My other snakes (a normal ball python and a bullsnake) are happy as clams, both are secure in their enclosures. Because of that, I still think it was an escape. Just not sure how it happened. I guess she could have squeezed between the sliding doors, though that seems unlikely for a 1800g ball python. The most I flexed the doors out testing this possibility was about 5/8" and it’s normally at more like 1/4" without the doors being flexed with both hands, and there’s no way a 4’ snake could do that without getting squished. Maybe a house mouse chewed a hole in the back of the cage and I haven’t seen it? That seems improbable, though.
I agree @kavoll. What a coincidence this is…….
I’m 99% sure it’s a coincidence. If it isn’t, I’ll eat my hat
Again, I trust them to take care of the snakes when I’m away, and they’ve done so many times.
Ok I surely hope you’re right but accidents happen. Is this a good sized BP? If it’s a baby could it just be vertical in one of the corners of the enclosure?
It’s a big one, about 4’ long and over 1800g on a good day. About 6 years old, and not at all shy. The only BP I’ve ever known to spend most of the day basking, just like a colubrid. I took all the decor out, sorted through it to be sure, and then sifted through the substrate. It’s very puzzling, but I suppose anything’s possible.
The snake has also lived in the same enclosure without any structural modification for about 2 1/2 years.
Well if the front? door was shut I would be really skeptical. Especially since they had just taken a picture……
It should be easy to see since it’s that nice size. I would tell them that she is missing just to see what they have to say……. Just for kicks and grins!
Already told them, as soon as I found out. They helped me search for the snake for an hour and a half… I’m almost positive it was just an escape.
Ok well I’m sending you positive thoughts that she will show up for you!
There is a third possibility. Being less experienced he may have made a mistake he doesn’t even realize he made. It could be a honest mistake.
I don’t want to make snap judgements, as I don’t know your family member. However, I do agree that this seems a bit fishy, especially since you mentioned that she’s lived in that enclosure for years without issue. My concern is she’s a higher end morph, and breeding age/size. That’s all I’ll say about that. I truly hope it was just an honest mistake or a coincidence. Like I said, you know this person better than any of us and I don’t want to cause undo tension and distrust.
If you can access the ceiling somehow, I’d definitely check there, since you mentioned her enclosure is close to the insulation/ceiling. I don’t know much about ball pythons, but from researching escapes I’ve read they do like to climb - more so than say a corn snake. She very well might’ve gone up, especially if she smelled mice. And if it’s dark up there, she may have decided it’s the perfect place to chill and hunt. Sending you good vibes! I truly hope you find her soon
2.5 years! That’s even more fishy. Intentionally or not, I believe a human had a role in this escape. It would be good to know how it got out so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again, but gone is gone. You’re in search-and-rescue mode now. Best of luck finding your baby. Be as vigilant as you can. Look in as many places as you can, even the places that look like “there’s no way it’s in there”. And don’t give up hope. I’ve heard stories of people finding their snakes months later and in good health. Keep us updated on your saga.
At least it’s leucistic so it can’t camouflage from you. Too bad it’s leucistic so it can’t camouflage from predators.
At this point, I’m almost certain she’s in the ceiling. Her cage is flush with the edge of the countertop, so if she went to the floor, she’d need to drop 4 1/2’ to the ground in an open area. On the other hand, the ceiling is only 6" away from the roof of the cage and has an opening to the insulation. There are mice in the ceiling, I’ve heard them before.
There’s a ton of clutter in the basement and places to hide, especially if she’s in the ceiling. I don’t think I’ll be able to find her easily, or by actively poking around during the day. I’m setting out some game cameras, maybe they’ll catch her on video and tell me where she’s hiding.
I put some water, hides, and a rat tail on top of her cage. Hopefully she comes there to drink and I catch her in the act.
I talked to them this morning. They said that there was a chance they left the door open for a short while, but don’t remember doing so. They’re quite upset about this whole thing and have taken care of the snakes many times before while I was away.
I’m potentially looking into moving them over to a rack system. I think that doing so might make escaping harder so this doesn’t happen again, and a rack might also help get away from the feeding issues I’ve had in the past. The problem is that they’re currently in 4 x 2.5 pvc cages, and I don’t want it to be a big downgrade. There’s also a 6’ gopher snake who definitely needs a big space. Anyone have suggestions for a rack system somewhere in that neighborhood?
That’s a great idea! I actually got a motion detecting camera to try and catch Ember. Unfortunately I think she’s too small for it to detect her, but for your ball python, that should work great! Keep us updated. I hope you find her soon
So I truly believe that the door was left open accidentally but I can’t believe they are just now owning up to it. Only after you had to pursue the subject. I realize this was not done on purpose and I certainly can’t judge because I have let enough of my snakes escape accidentally. Thank goodness I only lost one in all the years I’ve been keeping.
This is an all around bad situation and I’m sure your pet sitter feels badly. But imho, if you don’t find your awol BP within 6 months give or take, I think this person/people should at least offer to reimburse you for your loss. Even if you find your awol you might need to get it medically checked out for parasites etc if it has in fact been surviving on wild mice. That’s another expense you will have to absorb……
Ok enough said about this subject from me.
I surely hope you find your girl!