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  1. #1
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    My wife got bit - some advice for a new / first time owner please

    Hi Guys

    Hope everyone is well. So today we had an unfortunate incident and I wanted to share it on here to get some thoughts and advice.

    I was out of the house and asked my wife to put some fresh water in for Monty. She changed his water and all was ok and he was in his cool hide. After she had put his water bowl down she kept her hand in the enclosure for a few seconds and he launched out of the hide and bit her fingers.

    He had eaten exactly a week ago last Wednesday and I bought him home on Saturday. I had not attempted to feed him because I wanted to give him a full week at least of peace so he can settle in the new surroundings- only did some spot cleaning and have been replacing water every day. He has never had an aggressive disposition as we handled him many times before buying him.

    I can only suspect that he bit her out of stress or that he mistook her fingers for food. My wife now feels stressed because she feels it was her fault and has now stressed out Monty even more

    Could guys please let me know what is the best course of action? Just leave him alone and try feeding in a few days? We just want him to get used to us and be comfortable.

    Thank you in advance

    Ali
    Last edited by alilak; 05-16-2018 at 02:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    Leave him alone feed and than start handling.

    When doing maintenance or attempting to pick up the animal, observe the body language.

    Be patient young animals are defensive however they usually grow out of that phase around 250 grams to 400 grams (granted the stress level is low and the husbandry is optimal)

    Finally it's a wild animal so it is to be expected anyone that has not been bit yet either has not own a snake for long enough or does not own enough of them.

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  4. #3
    bcr229's Avatar
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    A quick bite and retreat is a defensive response; a bite and wrap is a food response. Which kind was it?

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    Re: My wife got bit - some advice for a new / first time owner please

    It was a bite a retreat.... So yes clearly defensive

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    Re: My wife got bit - some advice for a new / first time owner please

    your wife probably smells different from you, so maybe a new smell and a warm heat signature caused him to panic?

    either way, hey it happens! it took me owning 3 years and 3 snakes before i finally got my first bite! we call it the Bite Club; it's a rite of passage here! it was from a very fiesty hatchling, but she's 700g+ now and is a very tame and good girl, even tho i don't allow anyone else to handle her.

    let the snake be, and tell your wife some snake owners on here have NEVER been bit! and might even be jealous hahahahaha.
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  7. #6
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    Re: My wife got bit - some advice for a new / first time owner please

    Hahah

    Ok cool.... I will leave him be and try feeding in a couple of days. Was just really unexpected and it's even made me nervous to handle him. I'm sure all will be well- we all just need to adjust and get used to each other.

  8. #7
    Registered User craigafrechette's Avatar
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    Yeah, definitely sounds like a defensive bite. I wouldn't sweat it, and hopefully your wife will understand she didn't do anything wrong. The animal may have just gotten spooked, and at that age they will sometimes strike more as a message than with any intent to "kill" whatever they strike at.
    ...life is beautiful...

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    Suggestion: when I have to reach in to change a water bowl or spot clean (pooper-scoop) & my snake is in their hide, watching from the doorway hoping
    "that thing [me!] moving over there might be edible or ???", I have a ping-pong paddle that I use to gently back them into their hide & block the doorway with.

    Now I don't currently have any BPs, but this works with any harmless snakes that may misunderstand your invasion of their space. I don't care for bites, &
    none of these snakes are biters when handled...but hey, motion does rev them up & their long reach means they don't always know what they're trying to catch.
    They don't identify us visually.

    Anyway, the weight of the paddle leaning on the doorway of their hide gives me just the right intervention. When you move it in front of a snake, they back
    up, quiet down, & stay in their hide while you do what you have to do. Problem solved.

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    Re: My wife got bit - some advice for a new / first time owner please

    The very sophisticated "paper-towel-roll-boop" method will work when you're doing maintenance, especially if the snake seems spooked or interested. Just a gentle boop on the nose will usually be enough to deter them from wanting to bother you further. You can also get a snake hook and train them that way, too but in all honesty (and in my most humble opinion), BPs don't get big enough to warrant one. A bite from a baby is far more startling than damaging - it's just a matter of disciplining yourself not to be jumpy or jerky about it.

    You scared him more than he could ever scare you in any case - can you imagine a hand coming out of the sky at you? I'd bite too, after I peed myself

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    LOL! and yeah, another way to harmlessly re-direct a harmless snake that is "too interested in what you're doing" is a light spray of water.
    Harmless...helps humidity...and easily changes the "conversation". Just another way to say "not food & nothing to see here".

    Easy to forget how big & scary we are to our snakes. But with my large Florida rat snakes (especially), I guarantee that it's not fear but food
    they are thinking about. Smaller snakes (like my corns or Trans Pecos) I can just blow across my hand to give them my scent & they back off.
    But my large rat snakes are very feisty feeders...totally docile when I handle them, but you don't want them to misinterpret what's happening.

    Hey, I once got tagged by my Texas longnose snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei), talk about hilarious! This 32" skinny snake can only fit a fuzzy
    into his mouth on a GOOD day! But again, they use vision only to follow the motion...not to identify us. Even when many snakes make a feed-
    ing error & bite us, they usually let go right away, realizing their mistake. That does not mean it wasn't a feeding bite, but it's mostly boids that
    want to bite & hold on no matter what.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-16-2018 at 04:35 PM.

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