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Scared Of Me?

Discussion in 'Corn Snakes' started by KelloggCornsnakes, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. KelloggCornsnakes

    KelloggCornsnakes Established Member

    Let me first say that Kellogg isn't new or anything - we've had him for about 2 years. He's always loved being held, picked up, and being out of his enclosure until a few months ago.

    His feeding habits haven't changed, only his behavior. We recently got a new ball python (a few months ago - august 2015), and thus both had a new enclosure, and ever since then he's been acting terrified of me.

    Whenever I get to close to the cage and he's out exploring, he'll jump back and act all stiff as if he would bite (though he's never, ever bitten me). If I try to pick him up, even the slightest touch makes him flinch his entire body and/or run away as fast as he can and hide. I recently even bought a snake hook to try to pick him up, and he still acted the same. He never acted like this before. He used to love being picked up and would wait around 11 to be taken out. The sweetest snake ever. I'm just concerned now that handling more to get him used to me, will make him more stressed.

    I'm certain it has something to do with the different, front-opening, higher enclosure + the other snake below him, though it's been more than a few months now and I would think he would be used to it by now. And there's nowhere else I can move him so that he isn't near Moses (the other snake). Moses seems to love being handled and doesn't even seem to acknowledge that Kellogg is even there.

    I just don't know what to do at this point, and it makes me incredibly sad and frustrated.

    Pic of enclosure, if it helps. Kellogg is on the top.
    lWApG5c.jpg
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    To be honest, I doubt that it has anything to do with the other snakes. I, as well as many others, have housed different species in the same room for years.
    I suspect the trigger was the transfer into the new cage. Just go back to square one and start handling again.
    If you don't handle him, the behavior will never change.
     
    Darkbird likes this.
  3. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    With a lot of animals, a new cage will mean a new acclimation period, and though you might not be starting from square one, it may take a bit before things are back to normal.
     
  4. KelloggCornsnakes

    KelloggCornsnakes Established Member

    @Merlin @Darkbird
    I held him today... It could have gone, um, better. I took him out with hide and waited for him to come out so I could pick him up. When he was out I tried to pick him up, and he freaked and bolted between the bed & wall. Let him calm down for a minute or two, moved the bed, and tried again to pick him up - he freaked and bolted to the closet. Repeat - let him calm down, try to pick him up. He bolted to the farther corner of the closet.

    At this point I'm fed up, sitting in the corner of the closet and... crying because we've made no progress in months and I'm angry and sad. Kellogg then crawled into my lap (maybe he knew I was upset, I don't know. Probably not) Once he had crawled back onto the floor I took the opportunity to pick him up. Granted, I've never been able to pick him up before because I flinch whenever he flips out. I waited for him to stop squirming, and let him crawl around on my shoulders since he ended up hiding in my shirt.

    Sorry for rambling, but yeah, fun times...
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Stop putting the snake down! You need to hold him and maintain control of him. By allowing him to move away and then you have to try to capture him you take on the appearance of a predator. Not to mention there is the substantial risk of him getting in somewhere that you cannot retrieve him from. Gentle handling under control is the key.
     
    FervidBrutality likes this.
  6. KelloggCornsnakes

    KelloggCornsnakes Established Member

    @Merlin I've been holding him every 2 days. I've gotten used to picking him up even though he's still flinching, but he still doesn't like being picked up. He's also gotten to the point that whenever I open enclosure door, he slithers out right as I open it. I've noticed that he isn't necessarily afraid of me? He'll climb over me or on my hands/arms whenever, but if I move or touch him he does still freak out. When he's out on the floor, when he gets near me he will move very slowly and look very defensive (as if he would strike). Probably saying "do not touch me."

    He was especially weird today. It was feeding day, though not on their usual schedule. He came right out when I opened his door and I had to pick him up and put him back. Once I fed him he got out again, though not all the way and I had to lift him up very carefully and put him back (which he didn't freak out about?)

    Gah sorry for rambling on again, it's a lot to read... Any idea why he's so determined to escape his enclosure also?
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Because when he is on the floor YOU are a big scary thing looming over him. He has thousands of generations of wild instinct telling him that this just might be the end of him.
    As I said earlier, stop putting the snake down! Keep the handling on your terms, under your control.

    He's a snake. That is what they do! Most of them spend an amazing amount of time looking for a way out.
    And if there is one,..they will find it.
     
    Karma Momma likes this.
  8. KelloggCornsnakes

    KelloggCornsnakes Established Member

    @Merlin That does make sense, but why is he only acting like that now? And why doesn't the other snake act the same way? The ball python could care less about me and being picked up.
     
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    We are talking about 2 completely different species. Corns are fast and move around a lot. Ball pythons are slow and methodical. In fact many people shy away from corns in favor of bps because the pythons are so laid back.
     
  10. KelloggCornsnakes

    KelloggCornsnakes Established Member

    @Merlin Speaking of that, could he be acting up, especially even more now (like I said he has become very restless) because of breeding season? It's right in the middle of that time, and I've read some other posts in different forums about adult corn snakes being extremely active and aggressive during breeding time. I completely forgot about even considering that.
     
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I suppose its possible. But I never noticed any of mine having a behavior change in springtime.
     

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