I’m sure we all have stories about a time a reptile got lost or escaped, and I’d love to hear them. I’ll start. I remember one time, I was still training my crested gecko to be better at handling, and he was doing great in and around the enclosure, so I thought I’d take him into another room this time and work with him there. Well, I was in my couch, and I looked away for just a second, and he jumped off and got under the couch Luckily, I had already put away all the dogs and the cat as a precaution, so all I had to do was use a flashlight to look and grab him, but it was super scary for a moment there.
Lol thank goodness
I’ve only had a few escapes over the years. My first escape was my very first corn snake. I bought a used tank to keep her in. It did have a few holes in the screen, but I was sure there was no way she could reach them. I was very wrong! I went to show her off a few hours after getting her and went into a panic as I dug through the substrate unable to find her. I found her shortly after inside the desk drawer that was under the tank. I then STUPIDLY put her back in the tank while I went out to buy a new tank. She escaped again, very quickly, but thankfully I was able to find her again.
My second escape was years later, also with a baby corn. I was feeding my first clutch of corn snake babies and one was being a bit shy so I left them alone, but forgot to secure the lid of the container they were in. When I went to check on them later, they were gone. That snake was actually gone for a little while, I think like a few weeks? I was sure they were gone forever, given that we have a number of dogs and cats freely roaming the house. But I was wrong there too. I was awoken to the sound of someone freaking out first thing in the morning. This little tiny snake had managed to traverse the entire length of the house undetected and had made it to the patio door to the backyard. They were actually in the groove for the patio door and got run over by the door. Amazingly, they only sustained minor injuries and healed up within a few sheds!
As far as my crested gecko goes, she hasn’t ever escaped, but I do not feel comfortable handling her anywhere other than right next to her enclosure with all dogs and cats locked out of the room! I see beautiful crestie photos taken outside and it blows my mind!
Car Insurance, my giant day gecko, has escaped from his enclosure twice when I’ve opened it to give him food. Both times he ran up the wall over my doorway and both times I had to spray the wall with water to make it too slippery for him to grip so he’d jump into my waiting tupperware container. You’d think he’d realize by now that I’m the food giver and I’m not trying to eat him…
One time I was setting up a new enclosure. My cousin was holding Calypso one of my ball pythons, she came over to help me for a second and set Calypso in a small box on the floor that didn’t have a lid. She forgot she set her there. When I was done with the enclosure I asked where calypso was. It had probably been at least 15 mins since anyone had seen her. Thankfully we found her a few mins later curled up behind a dresser.
Another time I was sitting on the couch with my bp Atlas. I look away for 1 second and he’a almost fully inside the couch. just the end of his tail is not yet in the couch. We had to flip the couch over and cut the bottom out to get him. Atlas is no longer allowed on the couch without someone watching him at all times.
While I was away at college and my brother was supposed to be taking care of him, my Amel corn escaped and was rogue for six months. He turned up in the towel rack on the back of the toilet. Scared the life out of my brother during his midnight visit to void his bladder
My Anery alterna got out when I was distracted and walked away from his cage leaving the door open. A year later he turned up just sitting right in front of the cage, like he realized it was better there than bumbling around the basement.
I intentionally left the door on the BHP cage slightly ajar to vent it once, I did NOT anticipate she would have the wherewithal to cantilever the door all the way open. CAme in a couple hours later to discover she had rearranged the shelves (i.e., dumped it everything on the floor)
When I switched the baby bredli to a new cage I discovered that the gap between the glass panes was too large when I came in the next morning and caught a strike to the ankle
I had to call eldest in to help wrangle one of the Rhamphiophis when it decided to take a flying leap out of the cage when I opened it to spray the cage down
I tore the entire left side of a divided cage down looking for my male Charina only to find that he had squeezed between the glass pane and the divider to take up residence with the female
This post couldn’t be more timely, as somehow my big clown girl, Mango, managed to push her tub open and escape somehow this week, and I have absolutely no idea how. The good news is I’m pretty sure she caught and killed the ASF that had escaped a month ago and was living under the fridge, the bad news is that I now have no idea where she is and have been unable to find her. Which is impressive as she’s huge and my apartment is not that bag. This escape coincides nicely with an important thesis committee meeting and my 1500 mile roadtrip back to Pennsylvania with my dog, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to devote much time to looking for her, so I’m just hoping she’ll turn up somewhere randomly. Luckily it’s very warm in my apartment and in Houston in general right now, so I’m not worried about her physical wellbeing.
One time my 2-year-old corn snake Sunfire (an extreme reverse okeetee) female “escaped” her enclosure. After looking all through her enclosure in dismay and turning my room upside down with no luck (I used to live in a loft close to the ceiling so I was worried she would of fallen off my balcony or gone down the steep stairs). Later that night after giving up for the day I picked up her hide that was laying in the middle of the mess and went to put it back and then I stopped and to my surprise saw a bright glimpse of orange through a small hole in her hide. I hadn’t even thought of her wedging herself in there and felt like a total idiot, wish I would have found her BEFORE I completely destroyed my room looking for her . I tempted her out with food and gave her a new hide and that was that, lol .
Car insurance the day gecko
One of my hognoses escaped about a year ago. I think the the door wasn’t properly latched that night. Next thing I knew was that the door was slightly ajar and she was nowhere to be found. I live in a older home with some unfinished rooms. There are random tiny holes in the floor along the perimeter of the room. I tore the room apart looking for her, as she was still quite small. Maybe 25g at most? I spent the next couple of days looking for her in the basement. Sadly I wasn’t able to find her. I ended up set up a small enclosure with a water dish in the basement crawlspace. Hopefully she would wander in there at some point.
I kept checking it periodically over the next few months. Refilling the water as needed. Next thing I knew, May rolls around. It’s been 5ish months since she’s been missing. There have been no signs of her and I figured it was time to close up shop. I packed up the enclosure and was getting ready to put everything away. I figured I would check under the piece of cardboard that the enclosure was sitting on. Lo and behold. There the little turd was. Just sitting there.
A little worse for wear and a bit dehydrated but other wise fine. It got pretty cold in the basement, I suspect that she may have went into brumation. Bonus pic of the when I found her. She was filthy lol
I’ve had a kingsnake, a milksnake, a woma python, 4 ASFs and a half a colony of hissing roaches get out. The roaches were definitely the worst to deal with.
My security has gotten significantly better, sometimes you just have to screw up before you learn. If you think there’s a chance an animal can get out, they can. You can’t be too paranoid.
(First one not a reptile but reptile related) Years ago I was breeding mice (on a small scale) to feed a couple of snakes I had acquired. Long story short the guy I was dating at the time went into their enclosure to feed them and didn’t latch the door all the way.
I found this out later that evening when I stepped on a hopper on the way to the kitchen. Probably my worst experience. I still remember the feeling… ughhh… and I felt TERRIBLE for a very long time.
Couple years back we had a crestie fling himself out into oblivion as cresties do sometimes. He disappears behind a bookshelf and after tearing the room apart we find no sign of him. Leave pudding and water out for him on the daily. Give up after about a month (we have a cat and were sure she got him) About 3 months later husband is cleaning the closet and finds him on the rail in the back staring at him. He was missing his tail and lost some weight but otherwise fine.
Most recent was husband and I have a year and a half old ball python. She’s very attached to me and very nervous around anyone and anything else. Like to the point if I take her out she’s always got to have a portion of her tail wrapped around my finger or bra strap or belt loop or what have you. I take her outside and she sits right on my boot and won’t move more than a foot or two away. While still touching my boot. (She’s getting better but it’s a work in progress) Husband tops off her water one night and checks on her. (I’m sick as a dog) and he leaves her tub a crack open. I’m sleeping in our guest bedroom at the other end of the house so I don’t get him sick. Anyhow he gets up in the middle of the night to get a drink and she’s sitting at the door to that bedroom. I dunno if it was coincidence or she smelled me and associates me with food and safety but there she was. That was definitely a weird one.
I have two! Thankfully neither had gotten far.
Java, our Beardie was the first. My ex had left the top of his cage open, and I’d come home to find him on top of the cage just snoozing.
Aurora our BP, was the second. My husband had forgotten to lock one of the clips, and I was laying in bed when I heard a weird crinkling sound. Not the normal climbing around the cage crinkling.
So I get up, and end up finding her on the open closet door that’s next to the cage. The weird crinkling had been a windbreaker that was thrown over the door.
Matt no longer makes fun of me for triple checking the cages at night.
I have a 15-20 ft mango tree in my backyard. When Kai was a little guy, I was out taking pictures of him in the sun in the tree. Well, he got a hold a different branch then I had him on, and I was so scared of hurting him. So I traced the tree trying so hard to get him to climb on me but he loves to climb and still does today just not on that tree lol. I have a few lounge chairs that I let him and Willow climb on. So I didn’t really lose him, but it scared me bad enough to make his stay on the ground.
When I was very young, one of my first anoles escaped the terrarium, and was loose in the house (Washington State, USA), I assumed the cat or dog got it, if exposure to the cool, wet climate of the Pacific Northwest didn’t. Probably about two weeks go by, no sign of it, so we’d decided to replace the missing anole. After we bring it home, later that day, the first one turns up, hiding in the clean laundry! I don’t have many escapes these days, other than the occasional mourning gecko hatchling, but even that’s rare. I’m ready for the next wave, at the very least, but I’d like to think we’ve grown and learned from the past.
Tarantula story. I had an old golden leg baboon ( H. pulchripes) who’d been a mature male for 14 months. Spider keepers will know that mature males don’t usually last that long, and this guy was pretty much on hospice care at this point: completely tame, scrawny, ratty-looking, slow, weak, only ate every few months, and even then I had to immobilize the dubia and hold it right under the his palps where he would gently grab it because he couldn’t hunt, etc. I expected this guy to have died months ago, but the old man was still kicking. One night I accidentally left his enclosure open. In the morning he was gone. I figured I’d find him dead after having fallen off the dresser on which his enclosure sat, but I couldn’t find him. I tore the second floor of my house apart but couldn’t find him… I take a break to go downstairs and eat something, and find him, alive and well (as well as can be) right on the kitchen floor. This geriatric, emaciated spider made it out of his enclosure, down to the floor, out of the room, down a flight of stairs, and through two other rooms in one night. Quite the odyssey for an old retired guy. Felt like a movie where a dying man in a hospital wants one last hurrah… He lasted another few months and then expired. Great spider.
My Coastal carpet python had escaped when she was around 8 years old. My husband and I went grocery shopping and we came back home. Didn’t even see she had gotten out. My husband went to use the bathroom and 3 minutes later I hear him scream bloody murder. I run to the restroom and there she is coiled up on the curtain hanger from our window that is right over the toilet. He said it was a good thing he was on the toilet cause he damn near sh!t himself
I love the name!!!
My escape artist is my juvenile African File Snake, Ogun. I had him in a 40 breeder with a latching screen top and locking sliding door. The first time he escaped was early in his career. I apparently didn’t slide the lock all the way over after his evening check up. My husband found him chilling behind the bathroom door. The second time was later, he’s pet used to use now and apparently felt the he knew the routine well. I say this because I found him crawling on top of the freezer when I went to get his mouse to thaw. I had no idea how he released himself that time, so I put him back in the cage without feeding and just watched. It took him about 10 minutes to show me that he had figured out how to loosen the latches and squeeze it under the screen. He is now in a 40gal locking/sliding screen top enclosure while I hunt for a larger enclosure he can’t Houdini out of.
A picture of the little jail breaker.