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  1. #11
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Many great suggestions so far, but I'll throw in my 2 cents anyway- you can think it over & try if you like.

    You need to remember who the "aggressor" here is- that was you, lol. Your little snake is terrified & in her mind, is defending herself from some strange giant that has repeatedly (in the past) restrained her & forced her to eat. You're lucky she is now eating f/t for you, but now you want to "make friends"- so she needs to learn to trust you. You need to be patient. And only work on handling midway between her meals, giving her plenty of time to digest, & then plenty of time to de-stress so she doesn't refuse the next meal. It's most important she continues to eat.

    Snakes feel MOST stressed when we approach them -it sets off their "PREDATOR!" alarm. While many will tell you to only handle briefly, I respectfully disagree, because the approach & pick up is the scariest moments, & if you only handle a snake for a few minutes, they never have time to learn to feel safe with you- they may associate you with the scariest moments. Or if you like, you might consider that you're rewarding the fear response by putting her back quickly. The second most "popular" time for a snake to bite you defensively is when you're putting them back- it has to do with them losing their secure hiding place (with you) and suddenly feeling exposed- so "tag, you're it". So always go slow- try to imagine how it feels to be in their place. Never forget that your touch communicates to a snake that you are either 'friend or foe'- it helps to think like a "friend" so your hands (touch) will follow. It may be that "girls just wanna have fun", but snakes just wanna feel safe. They rely on these instincts to stay alive.

    Years ago I took in an unwanted yearling boa (BCI). Forgive me for repeating this story, but it's relevant. I never wanted a larger boa, she wasn't on my wish list, & I already had a house FULL of snakes, but when my vet asked me, I felt sorry for the 30" snake with nowhere to go. She had changed homes repeatedly over the past year, & his snake-experienced vet tech was her most recent home but because of her relentless biting, he was the latest in a long line that year that couldn't wait to pass this scared snake along to anyone else, & as soon as possible. You can imagine the billing she got: "Pure evil".

    Anyway, she lived up to her billing: non-stop coiling, hissing, & striking whenever I looked at her. I couldn't blame her. I put a small towel over her & enclosed her in it, & sat quietly with her on my lap for 30+ minutes or so at a time- she couldn't see me but she could focus on learning my scent & touch, & that nothing was hurting her- in time, she learned to feel safe in her towel. She was surrounded by me, but she didn't have to face me visually- to fear my size compared to hers- not for about 6 or 7 weeks, when I started letting her peek out. At first she coiled & started to panic, but then seemed to realize I was the scent & warm touch she already knew. I sat still & didn't provide any targets. (always keep your hands under a nervous snake- "be the ground") After about 2 months, she fully accepted my handling without her "security blanket"- of course, I still sat quietly with her, gradually allowing her to explore & gain confidence, but from that time on she made good progress, & became quite the cuddly pet, eventually even when she met other people. In all the years I had that snake, she never once bit me (or anyone else), because I took the time in those first 2 months (and not every day either) to teach her she had nothing more to fear. She was home & she was safe. Empathy works.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Armiyana (09-13-2021)

  3. #12
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    Re: Curbing severe aggression in hatchling?

    Go with the open handed matched when handling hand open palm forward. See if she is defended strikes just lunging and not doing anything. Quickly cover the head with ur hand and it will probably ball up. The enclosure is pretty big for a hatchling, if in big enclosures need lots of furniture for them to hide in so they feel secure. Only way your going to calm it down is keep working with it give it rest days in between handling. Once itís on a work day make sure you build up to handling it slowly, must defensive balls will just curl up if you go open handed and cover head this will allow you to pick the snake up.

    With it being this young and sold so young and small itís never acclimated to humans


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    AutumnVanilla (09-13-2021)

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