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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member Gio's Avatar
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    Advanced species.

    This is something people that are considering this species should pay careful attention to.

    The day before Wallace was supposed to eat I had to perform some in cage maintenance and change out his water. I used the rubber, or handle end of the snake hook to gently tap him to retreat away from the area I was going to be dealing with.

    He was fairly keyed up on me so I knew I was going to have to tap him a few times to settle him.

    He attacked the handle, and coiled. I tried pulling the hook away and noticed he had it in his mouth. The handle was not scented, it actually had hand sanitizer on it as I typically use it before and after all my snake and frozen rodent interactions.

    He never let go of the hook and eventually started to eat the handle end. I ended up twisting it out of his mouth. He remained coiled.



    That is musk or Pee on the glass which I felt was a bit odd during feeding. Possibly a defensive behavior response when I tried to take the hook.

    I tried to break the feed response a second time using a closet dowel with a sopping, wet rag dipped in Listerine. He attacked the rag and dowel. The strength of a 8-9 retic is incredible and he yanked the dowel around the cage with ease.


    The snake actually began eating the rag causing me a great deal of concern. I dumped a little more Listerine on him. After about 10-15 minutes he let go of the rag. He remained fired up and the next day I gave him a rat, the following day a quail. He usually eats every 10-14 days and doesn't get anything larger than a large rat or quail.

    I attribute this completely, out of the norm behavior to some extremely hot and humid temps here. Yesterday we had an 80 degree dew point. Even with AC the snakes notice it. All four were a bit more active than normal, but retics are on another level. This also came on the heals of a 10 day vacation with the house temp regulated to 78 degrees while we were gone.

    I spoke with Garrett Hartle for about a half hour the other day and he also felt the extreme temps were part of the issue. I don't have any indication that this was breeding related as there are no female retics, or other male retics here.

    I'm going to have to "retrain" Wallace a bit after this incident as he is a bit fired up even still. A cold front came through this morning and things have dried and cooled.

    Photo from yesterday morning.


    This post isn't meant to scare people away from retics, not at all. However you need to be very committed to their care and very cautious. I was very surprised that the "old school" yellow Listerine didn't do a thing to change his behavior. At least not for a good 10 minutes, which may steer me toward rum, or Jack Daniels. A shot for myself and a half bottle for the snake LOL!

    A 3 year, 1 month old, 8-9 foot male was plenty of snake for me that day. Had he actually gotten a hold of me, my night would have ended on a very bad note.

    I am not at all surprised that folks that get into the species, end up getting out after their snake hits its adult size. Mine isn't all that large.

    This incident is isolated, I haven't heard many stories like this, but it did happen here and I was lucky I didn't take any damage.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'm SO glad that you're OK & your snake is OK, and equally glad that you have shared this experience here. It's not as if this sort of thing happens often with
    big snakes, but the fact that it CAN happen at any time without warning is very sobering. It's why I'd never personally want a pet like this...I'm a gal, not a big
    strong guy, but even you guys need to be careful. Years back, I enjoyed working with rattlesnakes for many years, but to me that was only a matter of planning
    my moves, never an issue of size & strength. Even though you don't hear many stories like this, I think it may happen more than you think- just that owners don't
    always want to talk about it. Kudos to you for doing so.
    Many friends in low places...

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  5. #3
    bcr229's Avatar
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    You bring up a good point. We're having the first truly hot (as in, over 95*F) days of the summer this weekend and the A/C can barely keep up. Currently it's 80*F upstairs where the snakes are, and not just the retics but the boas and even the ball pythons are obviously looking harder for food.

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  7. #4
    BPnet Senior Member Gio's Avatar
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    Re: Advanced species.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    You bring up a good point. We're having the first truly hot (as in, over 95*F) days of the summer this weekend and the A/C can barely keep up. Currently it's 80*F upstairs where the snakes are, and not just the retics but the boas and even the ball pythons are obviously looking harder for food.
    That has to be a major factor. My guy usually perches and he's been on the cage floor a lot. I'm guessing the upper limits of the cage are too warm and he's more comfortable on the floor.

    He's still keyed up. I'm tempted to wear gloves for a bit until I can get back to handling him without him being keyed up.

    I think mainland animals are a bit more mellow from what I've seen and heard.

    I was a bit taken back when the mouth wash didn't phase him.


    I've dropped the cage temps and the basement room temp.

    Hopefully in the next day or two the cold front will become evident to the snakes.

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  9. #5
    BPnet Veteran EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Advanced species.

    Great info. Thanks for sharing Gio. We have to be very careful and smart when dealing with these large powerful animals. It's amazing to me how strong they are. I'm glad neither of you were hurt. My larger snake species are still pretty small and young. I'm learning to read their behaviors now before they're big enough to cause any real damage. Again, I'm glad you're both ok.
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  11. #6
    BPnet Veteran jmcrook's Avatar
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    Advanced species.

    Great write up and assessment of what happened. Otherís keeping the species could benefit from reading your acute attention to detail in studying behaviors and their relationship to the myriad variables that could influence them. Glad all ended well!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by jmcrook; 07-20-2019 at 08:46 PM.

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  13. #7
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Awesome thread!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

    My Borneo STP has been an absolute jerk the last week or so. I was wondering if the heat wave was riling him up. I haven't observed any changes in any of the other snakes' demeanor, so I was kinda doubting my hypothesis.
    Now I'm thinking I may have been on to something...

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing!!! This is a great eye opener for those already keeping or considering keeping some of the larger animals.

    I'm glad nothing worse came if it for you or Wallace. Hopefully he mellows back out sooner than later.
    Last edited by Craiga 01453; 07-20-2019 at 08:53 PM.
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  15. #8
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'd assume that our houses (along with our snake enclosures) are mostly controlled by thermostat...I wonder if it's not the temperature so much as perhaps
    the air pressure they're sensing? Just a thought...
    Many friends in low places...

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  17. #9
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Advanced species.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I'd assume that our houses (along with our snake enclosures) are mostly controlled by thermostat...I wonder if it's not the temperature so much as perhaps
    the air pressure they're sensing? Just a thought...
    Very well could be. I know that I can often "feel" storms coming. Apparently it has to do with a rise in atmospheric pressure. It makes all my damaged joints and broken bones sore and achy. So I would think that the pressure may have a similar effect on them?
    ...life is beautiful...

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  19. #10
    BPnet Veteran chip07's Avatar
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    A keyed up Retic is definitely fun times My male platinum tiger is always like this now as an adult. He makes things interesting around here! My biggest female has her moments but sheís generally low key and the others are always pretty mellow. Itís really just my one male that is like what you experienced. Iím guessing itís the fact he has two females in the room with him and another male around too. And in a split second he can fly across a cage and out the door in a strike. Impressive but Iím always cursing at him these days haha. He does calm down eventually you just have to get through about 5-10 minutes of the crazy. Definitely not animals to underestimate!
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