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  1. #1
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    Ball Python Wont Stop Trying To Escape

    Within the past week or two my ball python has started to exhibit some very odd behavior. He is constantly trying to escape his enclosure. I have never seen this before with him and I can't think of any problems. The husbandry is about perfect, 90 on the warm, and a decent humidity (typically 60 but fluctuates to 70). He lives in an appropriately sized plastic bin on paper towels with 2 hides, a half log that he normally loves, a water dish, and 4 fake leaves. This behavior just started so suddenly and violently. The other day he almost knocked over his water dish while trying to shove the corner lid open. He is also awake more frequently and earlier. Just for more information he did go through about a 6 month hunger strike with some unusual stools but I took him to the vet and they didn't seem to concerned. Thank you for help in advance, I'm just really worried he's going to hurt himself, his nose is starting to get red and with the force that he is pushing it almost looks like his neck is going to break.

  2. #2
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    Did you change anything outside the enclosure? For example are you now storing rodents in the same room or did you get a new pet? Also, how old is he? He might just be looking to find a female.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Lifer KMG's Avatar
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    Many of my snakes explore their cage at some point during the day or night. Increased when they are hungry. That is normal.

    However, if this is new strange behavior it could be stress. A half log is not a good hide so my first suggestion would be getting a more secure feeling set of hides.

    We can work with the half log for now but it's certainly not ideal. I would suggest a ready fix is covering one end completely. Then in the other end reduce the size of the opening. Moss is great for this but with such a bare setup I'm guessing you don't have any. So my next suggestion would be a shirt or towel over it.
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  6. #4
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    How are you taking the temperatures? What is the cool side temp.? If your thermometer is not accurate, he might be over-heating? His behavior suggests he's uncomfortable. Might try dropping the 90* to 88*? What kind of heat is being used? Is it controlled by thermostat? You do understand, I hope, that you cannot just set a t-stat to a temperature without double-checking what it really is in the snake's enclosure- otherwise it might be higher if the heat is building up.

    Any unusual stools lately? Did they actually do a fecal exam on a fresh stool sample? If not, get it done A.S.A.P. as he might also be having internal discomfort.

    How's his appetite? How's his weight? What's his age & how long have you owned him? What is his weight & what size rodents are you feeding him & how often?
    I ask because every once in a while we find someone that is drastically underfeeding their snake. His behavior could also be hunger. Remember that his metabolism is controlled by the temperature- in warm weather, snakes digest faster & often want to eat more.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-27-2021 at 11:29 PM.
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    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Wont Stop Trying To Escape

    My 12yo male does this at some point every year, usually in conjunction with going off of feeding. Heís currently in this mode and has recently resumed feeding after a 3-4 month fast, but still roaming and pushing and rarely using his hides. I gave up on trying to figure him out years ago and just let him do his thing anymore.


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    EL-Ziggy (05-28-2021)

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    I agree that it could be "nothing" but you always want to rule out possible issues.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Ball Python Wont Stop Trying To Escape

    He has had some unusual stools. I took some photos but deleted them after they returned to normal. He does have 2 hides, one on the warm, one on the cold. He just really likes the half log, he'll rest his head on it and take a nap. He's 3 years old and went back to eating food after the hunger strike. The only main difference I noticed was he no longer strikes the rat from my tongs. He'll only take it if I leave it there and let him eat it on his own time.
    Last edited by Bob212; 05-28-2021 at 11:33 AM.

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    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Wont Stop Trying To Escape

    Sounds like puberty to me. 😀
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  15. #9
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    Re: Ball Python Wont Stop Trying To Escape

    Does it need a bigger enclosure? Can it fully stretch out in an L shape?

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  16. #10
    BPnet Royalty Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Wont Stop Trying To Escape

    Itís already been mentioned above ..


    When they are determined to try to escape my first thought is to check the surface temps with a digital temp gun at the cool end as if theyíre too warm then presumably the warm end will be FAR too warm.

    Itís happened to me twice in all my time keeping snakes and both times it was faulty stats that had failed leaving the heat on constantly !


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