Snake handling

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Jfish, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Jfish

    Jfish Not so new Member

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    Hey everyone, I have a juvenile jungle python and the poor guy gets really stressed out when I try and handle him.

    He's 4 months old and I'm trying to handle him every 3 days or so to try and get him used to handling and everytime he produces fluid and sometimes urate. He stresses for a moment but once he is on my hand he calms down and becomes really curious but also extremely cautious. The smallest movement and he will get quite defensive.
    If I move him around he looses interest in what he was focused on and continues exploring and tasting new scents.
    Should I maybe not handle him as much or wait till he's a bit older? I'm not sure.
    T.I.A.
     
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  2. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    don't handle him as much for a little bit but let him get used to you being near him (such as you regularly being in see-able distance to him) and only going into his "terrirtory" for feeding and cleaning, then after a few months (2-4 i'd think would be alright?) try handling again. (fyi, i don't own snakes so this isn't from personal experience but i'm relatively sure this method works for the majority of relatively handleable overly skittish reptiles)
     
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  3. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    Hi,

    I think you should handle him for short periods of time 5 minutes or so. And just try to limit movement until he gets more confident. And the fluid and urate thing is sometimes snakes do that as a defence mechanism. Its just him getting used to being handled since he is quite young. Just be gentle and patient.
    :)
     
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  4. Krinchley

    Krinchley Not so new Member

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    My carpet was exactly the same when I first got her. Any movement she could see was struck at. Now she's fine. They always calm down eventually.
     
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  5. Jfish

    Jfish Not so new Member

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    Thanks guys I'll use a bit of all your advice,
    Cheers.
     
  6. KnightMiner

    KnightMiner Not so new Member

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    Jungles definitely have a reputation as extremely nippy animals full stop, which my gut would tell me has to be overblown since you'll always get a variety of temperaments in any species/sub-species. Like the others have said let your animal get used to you, be confident but not aggressively so and yeah don't over handle.
     
  7. Jfish

    Jfish Not so new Member

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    Thanks KnightMiner, yeah I have read about that reputation quite a few times. Imo I think they have to be that way as too their size and origin in regards to predators. I'll wait a month or more until he is a bit bigger and a bit more comfortable.
    Cheers for the reply.
     
  8. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    Today I’ve tried an experiment with my Julatten hatchling. After I coaxed it from its twig onto my hand, I took it to the back door and opened it (leaving screen door closed). It lost its tiny little mind about all the smells coming from the garden and completely ignored me. I was free to stroke it, move it from hand to hand, and I could have probably tied it into a knot without it realising lol. It enjoyed the experience so much it wouldn’t let go of my hand when I tried to put it back into the click clack.
    I think the trick might be to distract the snake with stimulating/enjoyable experiences (that are not food-related) so it associates handling with pleasant stimuli. Exposing it to new smells seems like a good start.
     
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  9. Jfish

    Jfish Not so new Member

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    Great info Lilithlechat, I've been a bit paranoid about taking it too far from the enclosure room but I'll try this on one of the next times I take him out.
     
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  10. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    @Jfish. You have given good, detailed info on which others can base relevant answer. I really only have one question for you. How long have you had the snake and does it seem to have settled into its new environment e.g. exploring (with plenty of plenty of tongue flicking); using both ends of cage; feeding readily? As a generalisation, young jungles tend to be quite nippy but become less so as they mature. While generally applicable, occasional individuals differ.

    Here is another technique you might like to try to hasten the process. It comes from a highly experienced snake rescuer /relocator, who also utilised some of these snakes for education in schools, when living in Bali. Place a pillow slip over each hand to remove and handle the snake. Once it is calm with this procedure, lose one pillow slip when handling. Allow the snake to transfer to the uncovered hand /arm if it wants to. When it gets used to human skin touching it, then you can try losing the other pillow slip. You need to read the snake’s behaviour to ensure you are not pushing it. Eventually you can do without the pillow slips altogether.
     
  11. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    Another useful hint is to, whenever possible, approach the snake from below. As mine likes to spend most of its time perched in the fork of a twig, I take the twig from the bottom and lift it and the snake from its click-clack. I place the free hand under the snake and slowly twist the twig until the snake moves onto my free hand of its free will. Then I put the twig back and let the snake move from hand to hand always keeping the free hand underneath it. Apparently they don’t see it as a threat if something approaches them from below.

    This is the set up in its click clack
     
  12. Jfish

    Jfish Not so new Member

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    Thanks @Bluetongue1 ,
    At first I had him in a low lying click clack 41x27x15cm, within a few days he seemed comfortable and was happy resting on his perch and was fed within a week easily. He was in there for about 3 weeks and was fed twice in there. Towards the end of that time he was under the newspaper quite a bit but he shed on the 5th day of being under there. Just under a week ago I put him in a reptile one 30x30x45cm glass enclosure. He has been fed once in there (had to leave the mice in there and leave the room for 20mins and it was gone) he seems a lot more relaxed in there and often in the mornings is sprawled out across the enclosure. Most of the time he is hanging on his perch either under the leaves or in the open section/Cool end. When he is active I have seen him tongue flicking and moving around but most of the time I look he's just hanging about.

    Thanks for that info definitely something for me to keep in mind!
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Mar 25, 2019, Original Post Date: Mar 25, 2019 ---
    Thanks @LilithLeChat ,
    The perch I made can come out quite easily and is where most of his time is spent, I think I'll use this technique next time I get him out!

    20190325_154127.jpg
     
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  13. GecksGartersAndGophers

    GecksGartersAndGophers New Member

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    I would get him used to you slowly, like setting up a chair and reading next to his cage, and once he's fine with that, get him out and handle him for short amounts of time. Thats what i did for my gopher snake and shes mellowed out now.
     

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