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  1. #1
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    Help, ball python trying to escape

    I hope im not annoying with all those threads, but i really need help and i never had experience with snakes before. My BP now tries to escape, which is a VERY weird thing for him to try to do, since he always would stay under his fave hide: a long log that touches both the cool and hot side. The problem is i yesterday took out that log, cause it had a bad smell cause of mold, and i didn't want to have a bacteria playground in my BP's home. He started using a stone-like cave that is pretty tight for him, and he'd use it before too, just rarely. He did try to escape yesterday too after i took his log out for a wash (i used vinegar, water and a never used toothbrush to scrub off the mold, but with no success), but he gave up quickly. But today he tried and still tries to get out for much longer, and it has been a hour already. His escaping attempts would happen before too, and rarely, though it was always after he would.. Take a big dump. He also would look hungry on those moments, and after i'd feed him (he would go escapey after a dump right on feeding day somehow ahah) he'd calm down. I tried to open up the plastic tub's lid to look out for any waste (it also seems like he actually did "go to the bathroom", since my sensitive nose is letting me know that there's something smelly in the container) and my snake is REALLY eager to escape, like i can't even look out for anything in the substrate cause he really wants to escape. What's also strange is that he doesn't even seem to care if i have any food or not, before he'd always be alert and stare at any of my moving body part and getting into his striking position, hoping im some kind of huge mouse. I don't know what to do, and what's actually happening here. Any answer will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    Can you add a picture of the enclosure? What are the temperatures, humidity, and substrate? How is he trying to escape, pushing on the lid?

  3. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    He sounds like he misses the big hide that he relied upon, & that the replacements aren't meeting his needs. I'm not suggesting you put back something that's moldy, but replace it with at least 2 separate hides (one warm side & one cool side) that suit him. Many of us prefer the types sold by Reptile Basics & other companies like Bean Farm- they're a hefty plastic (not so easily flipped) with the low ceiling snakes prefer & only one doorway, plus they're durable, washable, & not expensive. It's best NOT to use one big hide that covers both warm & cool sides, as that's not as good of a choice for the snake to thermoregulate themselves, & doing so is essential for their health & well-being.

    Also, too many changes to a snake's home, especially when they're fairly new, are also upsetting, so try to "get it right the first time. Besides looking for the home they knew before, when snakes want to escape, it can also mean they're hungry, too hot (what are the temps.???), or other things about their home is uncomfortable or unsuitable.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-16-2021 at 02:19 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Help, ball python trying to escape

    Quote Originally Posted by Erie_herps View Post
    Can you add a picture of the enclosure? What are the temperatures, humidity, and substrate? How is he trying to escape, pushing on the lid?
    I sadly have no idea how to add image here from phone, i will really appreciate if someone could explain me how to do that. But i can describe his enclosure: it's a plastic tub of the same length as him, there's a water bowl on the left (cool side) and the stone hide is near it. There's a digital small square thermometer/hygrometer (currently probably showing the ambient temp on 23.5 C, and humidity is 70%) and right next to it there's a wet box he's currently resting his head on after being active to escape. In the end of the hot side there's another pretty tall hide, with fake leaves right attached to it. After taking out the big log there's now alot of empty space, though he could slither around freely before too. Ground temp on cool side is 26, hot side is 28.6 but it's probably hotter than that, since my BP moved the thermometer probe up from under the substrate. For substrate i use coconut fiber, and to get out my boy tries to push up the lid.

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    Re: Help, ball python trying to escape

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    He sounds like he misses the big hide that he relied upon, & that the replacements aren't meeting his needs. I'm not suggesting you put back something that's moldy, but replace it with at least 2 separate hides (one warm side & one cool side) that suit him. Many of us prefer the types sold by Reptile Basics & other companies like Bean Farm- they're a hefty plastic (not so easily flipped) with the low ceiling snakes prefer & only one doorway, plus they're durable, washable, & not expensive. It's best NOT to use one big hide that covers both warm & cool sides, as that's not as good of a choice for the snake to thermoregulate themselves, & doing so is essential for their health & well-being.

    Also, too many changes to a snake's home, especially when they're fairly new, are also upsetting, so try to "get it right the first time. Besides looking for the home they knew before, when snakes want to escape, it can also mean they're hungry, too hot (what are the temps.???), or other things about their home is uncomfortable or unsuitable.
    It's really sad to find out long hides aren't suitable for snakes, cause my BP seemed to really love his log and it feels like im taking away a toy from a small child. I have a stone-like exo terra cave on the cool side, and you might know how it looks like since i saw them around often, and my BP can fit in and ball up there perfectly. What i really want to change is the hide on the hot side, since the entrance is a bit too tight after my snake gained weight, and too tall for a BP's liking. I want to do a clay cave myself and make it as fitting as possible for my pet, you can tell me if it's a wrong decision though. He's now resting his head on things, then trying to get out again for a bit, then just resting again on the substrate where his log was. I wrote the temps on my other reply to the other person btw.
    Last edited by Nephil; 10-16-2021 at 02:49 PM.

  6. #6
    BPnet Royalty Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Help, ball python trying to escape

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephil View Post
    I sadly have no idea how to add image here from phone, i will really appreciate if someone could explain me how to do that. But i can describe his enclosure: it's a plastic tub of the same length as him, there's a water bowl on the left (cool side) and the stone hide is near it. There's a digital small square thermometer/hygrometer (currently probably showing the ambient temp on 23.5 C, and humidity is 70%) and right next to it there's a wet box he's currently resting his head on after being active to escape. In the end of the hot side there's another pretty tall hide, with fake leaves right attached to it. After taking out the big log there's now alot of empty space, though he could slither around freely before too. Ground temp on cool side is 26, hot side is 28.6 but it's probably hotter than that, since my BP moved the thermometer probe up from under the substrate. For substrate i use coconut fiber, and to get out my boy tries to push up the lid.
    Just download and use the free TapaTalk app .. it has a simple and free one click photo upload option


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




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    Nephil (10-16-2021)

  8. #7
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    Re: Help, ball python trying to escape

    Quote Originally Posted by Erie_herps View Post
    Can you add a picture of the enclosure? What are the temperatures, humidity, and substrate? How is he trying to escape, pushing on the lid?
    I understood how to add pics and i'll post one of my enclosure for you and everyone else here to see. I took this photo about a hour ago when he was actively slithering around, now he's in the skull cave, looking tired without his head out of the hide like he would always have, since he's always a hungry beast ready to strike except now. I still worry for him and will read each answer here.

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using Tapatalk

  9. #8
    BPnet Royalty Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Help, ball python trying to escape

    Occasionally if a snake is continually trying to escape its simply a case of the RUB being too warm..


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




  10. #9
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    Re: Help, ball python trying to escape

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephil View Post
    It's really sad to find out long hides aren't suitable for snakes, cause my BP seemed to really love his log and it feels like im taking away a toy from a small child. I have a stone-like exo terra cave on the cool side, and you might know how it looks like since i saw them around often, and my BP can fit in and ball up there perfectly. What i really want to change is the hide on the hot side, since the entrance is a bit too tight after my snake gained weight, and too tall for a BP's liking. I want to do a clay cave myself and make it as fitting as possible for my pet, you can tell me if it's a wrong decision though. He's now resting his head on things, then trying to get out again for a bit, then just resting again on the substrate where his log was. I wrote the temps on my other reply to the other person btw.
    RE using one long hide- just saying it's not optimal to provide the range of temps he might need, since heat from one side gets held in & the "cool end" might not be cool enough, see?

    But if he likes it, by all means use it, or rather, one like it- it's just that you also said it was toast from mold issues. If this is natural wood, it might help to get another one & seal it first with a pet-safe "no-voc" waterproofing before you use it- that way, hopefully mold won't take it over.

    The other thing though- & this is pretty standard advice- is that it's best to use 2 MATCHING hides of the right size (& height & only one doorway), one on the cool side & the other on the warm, so your snake doesn't feel compelled to only use the one he physically prefers instead of the one providing the optimal temperature he needs- & this changes all the time, due to digestion & shedding.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  11. #10
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Help, ball python trying to escape

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephil View Post
    I understood how to add pics and i'll post one of my enclosure for you and everyone else here to see. I took this photo about a hour ago when he was actively slithering around, now he's in the skull cave, looking tired without his head out of the hide like he would always have, since he's always a hungry beast ready to strike except now. I still worry for him and will read each answer here.

    Sent from my POT-LX1 using Tapatalk
    His "floor plan" is wide open- not enough cover & hides for him to feel safe- BPs hide most of the time in nature, & even when hungry, they're "ambush-predators", NOT active hunters. They grab prey that gets cluelessly too close to where they're hiding. Out in the open, predators like hawks (etc.) have BPs for lunch. Seeing him in his home is nice for you, but apparently it's not making HIM feel at home. Might want to add some fake foliage etc.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Erie_herps (10-16-2021)

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