PLEASE HELP I’m freaking out! My baby leucitic texas rat snake has escaped!
I just got a baby Texas rat snake like 2 weeks ago and I had her in a temporary holding bin from when I got her at Reptacon. The plastic bin was like the size of a big bread loaf and wasn’t nearly enough for her, but I was in process of making her a nice big tank set up. I’m not sure of her age but she is little, maybe only 12 inches long? Maybe smaller I never really saw her stretch to full lengths since she always would be curled up when I checked on her or handled her.
I got her one of those big 25gal tanks that open from the front, I fix it all up nice for her and I set up the tank in a way I thought was correct but it didn’t come with ANY instructions so I did my best. I was a LITTLE worried with the small gaps on the glass doors, but my other rat snake never escaped so I figured it would be OK since despite her being a baby she was already had the same size skull as my adult male rat snake.
I DONT KNOW WHAT HAPENED but she’s GONE. In less than 12 hours of her being in her new tank, she is MISSING. Trust me when I say I completely investigated her tank. I took out all the decor and substrate and sifted through all the substrate she is GONE. Im terrified and have been crying as I frantically search for her because I have cats and a dog, and tracking her down in a house full of other animals is so scary for her, and I also live in a trailer so there ARE some spots of my floor that have tiny gaps or even holes to the outside. I’m completely in pieces because she herself was like 150$ and her tank set up was about $200 and she’s just a baby and im so scared I’ll never see her again. This is our first snake thats “mine” mine as all the other reptiles my boyfriend mainly purchases and cares for and I feel like the worst snake mom in the WORLD because I already lost my baby.
WHAT CAN I DO?
I’ve searched the entire kitchen area where her tank was–I have a reptile room but I needed to add another shelf to make room for her tank so I had her on the dining room table since we never use the table to eat at–so she not only managed to escape the tank but she made a 3ft drop off of the table! It connects to the kitchen and I 've checked behind the fridge, under the stove, along all the walls, under the dog’s food dishes, I tried to see under the fridge but can’t quite get a good look. Im freaking out my poor little Leucille
Ive laid out some salt on the floor around the large appliances like my fridge and stove, and I put a pinky out for her in hopes that she will get hungry and go into her feeding bin to get to it.
I dont have central AC in my house, and I live in Florida. so basically my ENTIRE HOME is a nice cozy 80 degrees for her so she could literally be anywhere and IDK if setting out warm dens for her will attract her.
Photos are her original “tub” that held her just fine, she couldn’t fit through the holes in there so i thought the tank was a secure one for her since the gaps in the tub were bigger than any gaps the tank had. Im still at a loss how she got out
Have you checked inside that castle piece? I assume it’s meant for an aquarium, and often times they have open spaces in them that snakes can squeeze into, if you didn’t check & block access beforehand.
I did, that was my first thought T_T I took it out and flipped it over and the inside is completely empty. I chose all black/dark tank decor so I could see her better since she’s all white, and she’s no where in the little castle or in her flowers.
Make sure to double & triple check anything inside the tank, I swear sometimes they can teleport. Otherwise I’d check for cord access areas & anywhere that may lift in the tank to find where she escaped from. Be sure to check along the walls, they like to stick close to things. Under clothing, in shoes, wherever. Keep a close eye on your animals as they may alert you to where she is. Do keep in mind, if you’re in FL with no AC, instead of looking for warmer areas, your girl may look for cooler places, so check those first.
I didn’t even think of cooler spots, I’ll have to hope for that. I’ve been going around the perimeter of the house along the walls and checking anything that looks like a fettucine noodle could fit in, so far no luck. Im laying more salt along areas I think she might be in and hopefully at night she comes out. i left some crumpled plastic bags in places too to see if i can hear her moving around at night. last time my bf’s king snake got out we didn’t see it for about a week, then one day we came home from bunch and there he was just moving along the living room rug. i really hope little Lucille turns up . ty for your suggestions!
is there anything that could lure her out you think? she’s so little and hasn’t eaten in a week since her last feeding so im worried how long she is willing to go in her hiding spot–if she hasn’t already squeezed out of the house.
Honestly I’m not the biggest expert on that, hopefully someone else could give you pointers there. I will say, snakes are very resourceful. I’ve got one I picked up on Craigslist that had been missing in someone’s house for six months and was found basically unharmed.
I’m so sorry, @toxenius. Breathe. There’s still a good chance that you’ll find your baby. You’re certainly not the first to have an escapee. It happens to nearly everyone at some point, and juveniles are the most likely to do it.
I know that you said that you checked all the decor items. It’s a good idea to do it again though, perhaps with a bright small flashlight in a darkened room. Babies can and do wedge themselves into unbelievably tiny, inconvenient spaces where they were never intended to go. I know that I once tore a viv apart, checked all the decor repeatedly, removed the bedding and was in full-on search mode in the house. After a couple of days of terrible worry, lo and behold, the snake reappeared in its enclosure. It had found a tiny hole inside a decor item and tucked itself in there. So it can happen, and because it can, keep the enclosure secured even though the snake seems to be out of it.
Your baby will be getting hungry if it’s feeding is due. This works in your favor for finding it. It’s not in any danger of starving for weeks, so don’t get about that. Do put water out for it. The cats and dogs may point you to your escapee, hopefully safely.
I’m linking a thread with links to a couple other threads with lots of good tips and some encouragement.
Hugs and prayers. Hopefully you’ll find your baby safe and sound and soon.
@toxenius I am so sorry you are going through this. I know how you feel believe me! As @caryl said, this is pretty common among us snake keepers! Escaped snakes are a common bond among us unfortunately.
I can’t lend any more advice than what has been given, especially the thread @caryl provided you. I will say that in my experience with escapees, I have found that turning on lights suddenly in a dark room has helped me find my guys, in most cases right in the middle of the room. I have 2 small dogs and neither has ever tracked down a snake for me! Lol
Definitely keep the tank intact because you never know where the little stinker could be. Don’t despair. I think she will show up eventually……
OMG THANK YOU EVERYONE ONE. My baby has RE-APPEARED! Idk HOW but she was in her castle! T_T I literally stuck my fingers all up in that castle and its black on the inside so I thought a little white snake would stand out but I didn’t see her when i first looked.
I came home from work today and I see a little white snake curled against the top of the castle and when i opened up the tank there she was, inside the tallest tower of her castle! idk how she hid herself the first time but OMG apparently the name Lucille isn’t fitting because she is clearly a Houdini!
So, SO happy to hear that she was in her castle all along! They’re really good at fitting into spaces you’d never imagine. You’re not the first, nor will you be the last, to have a wily noodle “escape” in the decor. It’s the snake version of, “If I fits, I sits”
Also @caron was referencing one of my common garters who earned the moniker Houdini for partially escaping his bin. Unfortunately that ended up being his demise, so your “Houdini” does a much safer disappearing act.
And you assured us you thoroughly searched the castle and it was not in there. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Just busting your balls a little. I can do that now because the best scenario came through; you got your baby back. We all just (re)learned something today. Those buggers CAN HIDE! See, you did everything right. You didn’t lose your baby. Confidence restored. Too bad we can’t put an AirTag on these things.
When one of my balls got out (totally my fault) I was awoken by a crashing sound in the kitchen. It had knocked a box of cereal off the top of the full sized refrigerator. Guess it climbed up the coils on the back side (it was decades ago).
i REALLY dont know how she did it like its more likely i temporarily went blind than missed a nook or cranny but man oh man am i releived. she has an all black tank so she’d be “easier” for me to spot and i STILL MISSED HER lol and god i wish we could tag our snakes! put a little beeper on em