He’s just waiting for rat time
Both my escape stories involve reptiles that belonged to my former roommate.
First was her crestie, Mork. She’d gotten him a fogger for his enclosure, but didn’t do a great job installing it and left a small gap in the lid where she’d inserted the hose. We both thought the gap was too small for him to squeeze through. The next day, she bursts into my room in tears, telling me that she can’t find Mork in his enclosure and was pretty sure he’d escaped. Her boyfriend and I start tearing her room apart looking for Mork, and my poor roommate is already bracing herself for the worst, convinced we’ll never find him and that the cats probably got him (and she adores that gecko, so she was really, really upset, understandably). Fortunately, after a few minutes of searching, her boyfriend finds him clinging to her window curtain just a couple feet from his enclosure.
Second was her large male ball python, Monty. She’d recently found this great homemade reptile rack-like thing on Craigslist. It wasn’t a usual rack with tubs, but instead was like a giant cabinet with five 4’x2’x12" compartments arranged vertically, each with sliding glass doors in front, complete with wiring and fixtures for lighting and heating elements. Each compartment had two circular holes cut in the back wall, and into each hole fitted slotted plastic vents. It was a great find and was a steal at $100 (it had some cosmetic wear and tear, but was still perfectly functional). Anyway, she decides to move Monty the bp into one of the compartments, prepares it for him, and brings him down to the living room to put him in his new home. As she’s putting him in, she noticed that one of the plastic vent inserts in his compartment has popped out, leaving a small open hole in the back wall of the compartment, so she puts Monty in, closes the glass doors, and goes to the kitchen to get some duct tape to re-secure the vent. She didn’t think the hole was large enough for Monty to fit through…but you can probably all predict what happened next. She returns moments later to find Monty has managed to squeeze most of his body through the hole and is merrily proceeding into the abyss between this giant, HEAVY reptile cabinet and the living room wall. Fortunately she managed to grab him and pull him back through the hole before he got all the way out. If he’d managed to get between the wall and the cabinet, it would have been a nightmare trying to retrieve him, because that thing was probably the heaviest piece of furniture I’ve ever encountered. Even just scooting it back from the wall by a couple inches would have required a huge effort by multiple people.
We also had a lot of cockroaches escape when we kept a colony to feed the lizards, but that wasn’t nearly as stressful.
This happened a few months back.
The offender: Tulip
Hubs had left the enclosure open by accident (thought I was coming behind him with food.) and Tulip was nowhere to be found. Tore apart the bedroom. Looked in nooks and crannies. Matt’s freaking out, I’m freaking out. Had just about given up, I’m sitting in the dog bed trying to look for any routes she may have taken.
Then it hits me; Tulip LOVES to hide in the paper towel. I’d made Matt check the paper towel in the enclosure like three times. Under our Leo’s cage was a crumpled piece of paper towel. Don’t know why I thought to check, but I was glad I did! The stinker was burrowed in the paper towel. A little chilly but otherwise fine!
That’s crazy! I’m glad you were able to find him, they always seem to end up in the weirdest spots, lol. Just a couple days ago I was misting my crested gecko enclosure (with two adult females) and one of the geckos was on the door. Since they’re usually calm I opened it a little bit to mist the enclosure. Then she pokes her head out and starts climbing out, I tried to stop her but she jumped on the lid and on the wall behind it. Luckily I had a 32 oz deli cup I was able to get her to start climbing into and I could move her, lol. That sure didn’t help with my confidence handling them.
About had a heart attack last night. One of my yearling checkered garters vaulted itself out of their bin. Before I could even move, he’d vanished under other bins. My room is…a bit of a pigsty, so I absolutely lost it and started tearing the place apart. Found him behind my giant, heavy dresser (also stacked with enclosures) and had to hulk it out of the way enough to get a snake hook behind and coax it back out. Have now realized I will need to upgrade garter bins sooner rather than later.
This one was a big surprise. Requires a bit of explanation as to how this could happen so I’ll start there lol.
In 2019 I built an outdoor enrichment area on my property. You can see it here. All of my snakes are brought outside for UV/Enrichment for some period of time as often as I can manage it. Some of them get their privileges revoked though, for excessive bad behavior. One in particular is my Caramel Coastal Carpet Python. Leave him be for a second he makes a beeline for the rat room surprise surprise.
About 6 weeks ago I felt bad and brought him outside. While he was perched on the branches I got an emergency call from one of my employees. Took me about 5 minutes to resolve. The Carpet was gone! I spent the next 3 hours looking for him, but he wasn’t to be found. After several days of looking for him, I faced my mistake and let it be. He’s so attracted to the rodent room I figured it was an even chance I’d eventually find him in there. Fast forward to Tuesday morning. I worked late Monday on the snakes and forgot to close the door to the rat room. When I left for work in the morning I went to close the door and found this.
What was really interesting to me is that with an air temp of 54* and a body surface temp of 59* he was trying to eat. It’s things like these that have led me to keep my snakes cooler than a lot of people suggest. He’s been living outside with daytime temps of mid 70s and nighttime temps in the high 40s and low 50s for 6 weeks. I think we know less about their thermoregulation than we think we do.
Needless to say we’ll do some fecal testing this summer in case he managed to find any food outside the rat room. Doesn’t appear to haven eaten but it’s cheap insurance.
That is incredible, and I definitely agree with you about us not knowingly everything about their care.
It is funny I saw this when I did. I actually found my leopard gecko after 24 hours of very stressful searching, last week. His viv is on a 3 foot stand though, so he either took a crazy leap of faith or meticulously traversed his way down (Very unlikely. When it comes to heights, leo geckos have an IQ of -1).
I found him on the opposite side of the room in a smooth-sided 2ft tall bin. This was the last place I checked. I swear he has got to be able to teleport of move through walls or something because there was 0% probability of him getting in there I hope he munched on any stray Dubias while he was loose.
I don’t notice any things wrong with the 3ft fall though. Eating fine, no bones are broken, behavior is the same, etc… Nothing. I swear he teleports or I am going crazy.
It was definitely wild to find him after so long. Happy escape stories are a lot better than the other kind lol.
I think they’re sharing secrets of teleportation. When my BA House Snake got out he escaped a locking bin with two clips on it to help it stay closed! Now he’s in a more locking bin, with SIX binder clips holding the edges even more shut. But he is just a little thinner than a pencil so he apparently has special powers. I’m gonna be keeping a closer eye on him.
Yeah, for a snake that itty bitty, you need a lot of binder clips to keep him safely contained, haha. I recently moved my blood python into a larger tub, and the lid on the new tub bows out even more easily than the lid on her previous tub, so I’ve also outfitted it with 6 binder clips. Fortunately she seems more interested in digging in her substrate than messing with the lid, but better safe than sorry!
I’m so glad you were able to find and safely retrieve your house snake after his little adventure!
Jewel, my Asian Water Monitor has escaped 3 Xs. Monitors are really smart but the last escape was my fault. I was taking pictures and didn’t get the enclosure closed. She has been missing about 2 weeks and I " sort of" found her this morning. I heard a noise on on a shelf in one of the reptile rooms. I got the storage bin down off of the shelf and spied a tail. Unfortunately she zipped out of the bin and disappeared under the low shelves. I had to go to work, but made sure to Block the space under the door so that she cannot get out of the room. I look forward to getting her back, again, this evening when I get home from work.
If I had the space and money to care for a Asian water monitor. They are so smart, I hope that you find your girl tonight.
Did you get her?
I did, i got home late yesterday so I waited until this morning to look for her. Found a step stool so I could look in all the hidey-holes on the tall shelves and when I walked into the room she was in the middle of the floor.
She made a run for the closet, and I snagged her. She was a little freaked out, but now she’s in her enclosure soaking in her water, with a belly full of parboil chicken calcium and vitamins
You never know, I never thought I would own Asian water monitor, I used to look at the sale pictures at nerd and wish. And one day my life changed.
I have acreage and a large earth sheltered home with no mortgage. Having nobody to please but myself, I decided to use my large front bedrooms for monitor cages, the back bedroom for breeding rats mice and rabbits. With the great room dining and kitchen area being changed into a studio apartment for myself.
You don’t have to be wealthy to own a monitor, just unconventional enough to do it.
Oh yay, you caught her! I do wonder if our reptiles are relieved to be back in familiar surroundings, or just wishing their adventure went on longer, hah.
i think Jewel wanted more adventure. She was in my reptile room with a freeranging Sulcata. She had water, a hot mat to bask on , UVB, and i now understand why i was never able to find the mouse that got loose.
So far, my new bin setup has proved enough to contain my wily shoelace. (Black African House Snake Juvenile) I have him in a sterilite locking bin with six big binder clips around the edges.
Unfortunately, I’ve got another one. But it’s all good!
Went into the boy’s room later than usual Monday morning, and couldn’t find Java. Panicked and tore apart his enclosure, empty. 100%.
His cage was left open. Idk when, maybe when my husband put food in before he left for work. Either way, where did he go? Checked the top of the boa’s enclosure; nope. Tool shelf next to it? Empty. Woodworking bench? Empty.
Now I’m freaking out. The dog didn’t even alert me he was roaming around. She’s usually on it.
Finally had an epiphany and decided to check under the enclosure stand. And found him as you see above.
This fool yeeted himself from the second shelf on his stand, and somehow landed on the floor. Niot sure if he jumped from shelf to shelf. But there he was, perfectly fine save a broken nail tip and a tad chilly, watching me freak out.
I gave up for the rest of the day. And stacked things on top of the lid for good measure.