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Boa Escaped - Any Possible Hiding Spot Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by CTU2fan, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Yes, I'm an idiot. My boa either leaned and crawled along his sliding door and moved it or managed to get his nose into a crack and slide it open. Either way he's out. I've looked everywhere (behind everything, behind/under/inside all furniture, behind/under/inside all the appliances, no luck. Any favorite spots I might not have thought of? I'm down south so it's warm enough in the house that he won't be needing to find warm spots like near electronics and that sort of thing. I don't think there's any gaps where he could have escaped outside but I know they sometimes surprise us. I once lost a baby Cali kingsnake for 6 months before it turned up out of the blue (no idea what she ate but she hadn't really grown) so I haven't given up, but I'm pretty discouraged. It's been 4 days.
  2. Lizz

    Lizz Well-Known Member

    How big is your boa right now?
    What species?
    Even if the ambient temp is enough for him to be comfortable, he may still seek out warmer areas to thermoregulate especially to digest food, so its still worth checking the warmer areas in the house. Like up against the water heater for example.
    Another thing you can try is making a line using flour across every doorway before you go to sleep, so if he is moving from room to room under cover of darkness at night,the next moring you will see a brake in the line of every doorway he crossed. This may help you figure out the area of the house he is in. And if he drags some of the flour in the direction that he travels, you can use that to figure out which way he went and possibly even which room he is in.
    I know its kind of a pain in the neck thing to do, but it could just be the thing that helps you find your snake.
    Good luck, keep us updated.
  3. Lizz

    Lizz Well-Known Member

    Nvm, I see the species now in your signature.

    Here I found this on a in frequently asked questions "My boa excaped out of the vivarium. What can I do?" Some of it is common sense but I figured you may find something helpful in here:

    Any boid keeper of many years, who claims to have never had an animal escape, is lying through his or her teeth. The day comes for even the most conscientious among the boa or python keepers, when the sliding glass doors of the cage will not be entirely closed.

    Ungrateful, as our charges are, they usually use this opportunity shamelessly and bolt. The smaller the snake is, the more difficult it then becomes to find it. The dear boid keeper that has never been faced with that type of situation before is usually overcome with panic, once he/she notices the escape of the animal.

    However, that is exactly the wrong reaction, because it is now important to keep a cool head and use a systematic approach.

    Before turning the house upside down, examine the enclosure thoroughly to make sure that the snake has not just hid very well.

    A superficial glance onto the spots that the animal normally occupies is not sufficient in this case. You should really search every angle of the enclosure (this includes the ceiling), before expanding the search. In other words, you should search the enclosure in such detail that you would be confident enough to offer your right hand if the snake still ends up being found there.

    Well, we now trust your search and believe that the snake is no longer in the enclosure. Next comes phase two, in which you have a great advantage: Boas and pythons do not usually travel far, and the animal will most likely still be in the same room, in which the enclosure is located. In addition, the snake maintains its normal behavior, which means that the fugitive has hid and is at a spot in the room that is suitable for providing shelter.

    The less accessible and tighter this hide spot is, the more likely it is that you will find your legless friend there. If you think that you do not need to search a particular spot in the room, since “the snake would never be able to get there”, you have already made your next mistake.

    Especially popular among escapees is the bundle of cables by the enclosure. They like to climb in it and rest in it as well. Another popular spot is the space between the enclosure and the room wall. If these objects just happen to have the permissible weight of a commercial truck, then you are pretty much out of luck, hence our recommendation in the section about enclosures to seal that space with construction foam or wooden strips.

    If the entire room (except for the space mentioned) has been searched without success, the cabinet or enclosure needs to be moved. There is no way around that, as bad as it may be.

    But we are not there just yet, as everything else comes first. It is recommended to move every removable object after thorough examination temporarily to another room for the duration of the systematic search. That way, the room in which the fugitive is suspected to be in, becomes more open and easier to manage. In addition, this prevents the animal from hiding in such an object later, if it is not found during the first day.

    This brings us to the recommendation to keep the door to the enclosure room closed at all times. This applies especially if there is a “loose snake”.

    A place beloved by the snake yet hated by the keeper is the interior of the living-room couch. The snakes even get in there, which is something that should be kept in mind, if the enclosure is located in the living-room. Also, remember to look behind the heater and between its heating ribs (if applicable).

    In case of a partially open window, it pays to take a closer look at it and its immediate outside vicinity. Also, keep in mind that our legless friends are excellent climbers and love height, and the search should therefore include the top of shelves, cabinets, etc.

    In conclusion of the “search & rescue manual”, here a few more hints:

    It is much easier to search with a pocket light

    If the animal is not found right away, keep on checking during the following nights, as that is the time at which the animal is most likely to crawl around somewhere

    A daily inventory check to ensure the presence of all animals after maintenance work helps to discover an “escape” early, thereby raising the chance of finding the animal before it retreats to a place that is really difficult for the keeper to get access to (such as behind a cabinet, inside the couch)

    When a snake has escaped, it is best to leave the enclosure door slightly opened (of course, this applies only as long as there aren’t any other snakes in the enclosure), which allows for your charge to return to its regular spot

    During unsuitable climatic conditions, the room temperature should be adjusted accordingly (min. 23° C [73° F]), in order to prevent the snake from suffering while spending several days outside of its enclosure

    Providing a bowl with water is also recommended if the animal was not successfully located right away

    If the animal cannot be found in the enclosure room, the neighboring room has to be searched in the exact same manner, unless one wishes to abandon the search, and simply leave it up to chance
  4. KelloggCornsnakes

    KelloggCornsnakes Established Member

    Put some flour or something along the edges of some walls. That way you can see if he/she has been creeping along the walls in that room. Also, try putting mouse or something in a room, to see if it will get eaten. I've heard it's worked for some people before. My friend lost her Red Tail Boa once, and it turned up in a drawer in the bedroom after a month!
    Lizz likes this.
  5. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Thanks for that. I will try the flour idea, see if he's moving around.

    He's pretty big, maybe 6.5' and thick. I've thought of a few more spots, and I may do a more thorough dig into the couches.
    ferasaeva likes this.
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Check between all furniture and the walls. My last escape was a ball that go loose when I had her tub out of the rack and went to get something and got distracted in the process. Now this room is only 6'×6' to begin with, and totally escape proof to anything bigger than a hatchling corn, so I knew she was in there, but it still took a week to find her. I was expecting her to be found behind a tub in a rack somewhere, when she had actually gone a whopping 14" and wedged herself between a small rack on wheels and the wall. And consider any opening they can fit their head into a possibility, because they will at least test it, even if they end up not being able to cram themselves in.
  7. ferasaeva

    ferasaeva Well-Known Member

    My reptiles always tend to go for under dressers or beds (though I'm sure you've already searched there). I've heard putting a couple rats in open sacks around the house can help lure them out. I wish you the best of luck in finding your boa!
  8. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Yea I actually have my daughter's rats' cage on the floor, I'm hoping he'll smell a rat (pun intended) and show himself.

    The problem in my house is all the doors have enough gap for him to crawl under without issue, so he really could be anywhere. Good news is I haven't found a gap where he could get through the floor and into my crawlspace and out, that's my biggest concern. As long as he stays in the house he'll turn up.

    He's a really big snake, it's amazing how well he's hidden. If I'd lost a similar sized lizard I'd have likely found him the first day.
    ferasaeva likes this.
  9. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Well after 2 months gone my boa reappeared last night. He was on top of his old cage knocking stuff off, heard him ~2AM and thought "could it be?" He promptly climbed into his water bowl, drank, soaked, and in the morning I woke up to a defecation. So clearly he ate something, not sure what it could've been or if I even want to know.

    I offered a rat today which he refused, I will let him settle down and try again. He's usually a good eater though not a super aggressive one (unlike my retic, who'd like to eat anything that twitches).
    Darkbird likes this.
  10. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Glad to hear it. Give him a week to settle and he'll likely be back on feed.
  11. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Glad you found him!
  12. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Glad to hear of his return. I also agree on probably not wanting to know what he was eating! :p
  13. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    One of my 18-month old DRMB's (around 30", diameter of my pinky finger) must have slipped out while I was cleaning the tank. I didn't even realize he was awol until I found a fresh poop on top of the lid. I found him the 2nd night after I started looking/watching for him, on a copper water line almost directly above the enclosure (in the basement.) He didn't want to unwrap his tail, naturally, and musked to protest my efforts to unwrap it, but once it was he seemed content enough to soak up a little warmth from my hand. Room temp is at the low end of their range, so no real worries about them getting too cold, but comfortable is another matter.
    Several of the larger ones have gotten out on occasion, one male in particular will take any opportunity to wander off, but he always turns up somewhere overhead in a day or two. I found one of the females a short distance away from her tank, wrapped around a powerhead in a nearby aquarium, having a nice warm soak while a handful of ramshorn snails gave her a thorough cleaning.
  14. Alexis hawkins

    Alexis hawkins Active Member

  15. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Not likely, people have had snakes be gone for months and found them none the worse for it when they finally turn up.

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