What to do with deceased reptiles

We have plenty of land so if something dies we take it to the back corner so the wind doesn’t blow the smell to the house. Fish, cats, dogs, goats, sheep, whatever happens. Scavengers have to eat too.


I don’t like the idea of a stray dog or cat digging up and dragging around the body of my own pet. So we dig really deep. But then we only have snakes and not any livestock.

If I lose a fairly small animal, such as a hatchling that doesn’t make it, I usually preserve it in alcohol.

Do you have any pictures of that and how well does it work preservation-wise?

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this isnt the same exact one but you can send it off to have it done I’m sure

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I just did a quick Google search and I do know some taxidermy people offer it if they can do it…I’m sure it aint cheap but I would do it if I cpuld afford it

If I have hatchlings that dont make it I usually feed them off to other herps.

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Here are some preserved specimens. From the left they are: Sardinal Stuart’s Milksnake, Bismarck Ringed Python, Three-Toed Box Turtle. As you can see, they lose color when preserved. The snakes have been preserved for 2-3 years, the turtle has been preserved for less than a year. All specimens are in good shape.


That’s really a lot less creepy than I was expecting. Do you take them to shows for education or is it just a personal decoration.

Have you found any practical uses of keeping them preserved?

No, they are just for decoration.

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Ok…like what? :joy::joy::joy:

I HAVE to know where you were going with that lol.

Practical uses? Like if you come across a bunch of pickles but have no jar you just throw em in with the snakes?

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O.k…this is kind of a weird and morbid thread.

Here’s a less morbid option, maybe. All of my pets that have died since 2001, I’ve had cremated. Most are in nice little wood boxes. Some of the first ones are in decorative tins. If the shop I found can do labeling on the wood, I’m going to move the ones in tins, into nice matching wood boxes, and have everyone labeled. There’s over 20 of them stacked neatly on my altar to deceased friends and family.

I will either some day scatter each critter’s ashes to a specific plant if I finally have a yard and house that we own. Or…they’ll all get buried with me when I die. I’ll be surrounded by my beloved babies.

That’s my plan anyway.


I hope it’s several years before I have to deal with it! But anything I can do to help further science if it’s not a ridiculous inconvenience I’ll try and do.

More along the lines of taking sketches or observations of parts you can’t really access with a alive snake too well (inside the mouth, eyes, glands and so on).

But yeah, people drink tequila with scorpions and other weird shit at the bottom, why not… :sweat_smile::joy::joy:


I bought an albino checkered garter from someone, and the snake died within a few days of me having him.
I suspect it was due to the previous owner feeding him fish with thiaminase in them, since he was having seizure-like symptoms and spazzed out a few times before he just stopped moving completely.

For right now I have him in the freezer in a ziplock bag, since I live in an apartment complex I have nowhere to bury him and otherwise have not decided what I’d like to do with him.

I have a couple of specimens in the freezer that I haven’t gotten around to preserving.

If it’s for gross dissection purposes to show the insides to a class, freezing works fine. Got to see a chameleon on the inside that way. But if it’s for research purposes, like looking at tissues under a microscope, or running tests for various diseases or other bio-chemicals, freezing will destroy it. I just recently lost a beardie to some weird unknown thing, and I really wanted to know what killed him. I was going to have a necropsy done, but since it’s California Fire Season, my vet didn’t have any power and wasn’t going to for awhile. I offered to bring him home and freeze him till they had power again, but the vet told me it would make diagnostics to find out what happened impossible. Makes sense, freezing expands the water in the cells into ice. Ice crystals destroys the cells.

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There’s a leatherworker who turns up at Repticon Orlando. Unfortunately I can’t remember their name but they make some really neat stuff with humanely harvested snakeskins. So that’s one option I guess, find a craftsman who works with reptile skins and either donate it or commission something to be made from it.


I have lost one snake…my sweet Fiona. I couldn’t bear to bury her, so I had a professional help me preserve her. She “lives” in a Ball jar. I’m glad to have her beauty frozen in time that way. This person was good enough that even her eyes are preserved perfectly. I have included a photo of her in life and another of her preserved body.

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That is my son’s biggest dream, to one day have a crocodile, alligator or caiman. He is still debating about which one :joy: I hope our snakes still live for many more years but maybe when they are old…and we win state lottery…or I find a very rich husband…we will have a gigantic house with a large pond for summer…and a very large greenhouse with pond in it for winter…:thinking: I beter tell him to start saving all his pocket money so maybe by the time our snakes are really old we can feed them to his crocodil :rofl:

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