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Brand New Borneo STP

Discussion in 'Blood Pythons' started by bugbitemcgee, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. bugbitemcgee

    bugbitemcgee New Member

    Hello everyone, I am a new Borneo STP owner as of 4 days ago and I had some questions about my new snake's demeanor. When I visited the local reptile store here in town where i bought this lovely looking snake, she appeared to be docile and was accommodating to the fella working there who took her out for me to get a better look. I liked the fact that she was docile, and that from the research that I've done and what i was advised, these are not long snakes but instead very girthy.
    It was the combination of having a large(r) docile snake that wouldn't grow to be 20+ feet in length that sold me. The snake did not take to the car ride home too well as there was hissing heard from the pillowcase followed by a large amount of urine. After getting the snake home and setting up the enclosure, I lifted her with no problem to move her into her new home to settle in when hissing and rigid, jerky, body movements started. I immediately set the snake in the enclosure and gave her some space.
    For the last few days the snake has been hissing (or making a noise that sounds like air being let out of a bike tire) to herself in the hide and has not come out at all. I phoned the reptile store and I was advised to get her out of the hide so that i could check the temp to ensure that that wasn't a factor adding to the stress of her being in a new home. The guy i spoke to (the owner) said that she should be docile enough to handle and the hissing is due to the new home (i thought it may be an RI since this noise was being made as the snake was hidden and due to the frequency of it). Well, i removed the hide to find a snake that didn't look to happy to see me (moving to a new house stress?) and continually hissed and kept opening it's mouth really wide at me.
    After a long while the snake (now really disturbed) moved over to the water dish across the cage and was now in a position to be lifted. I lifted her and i got a nice big hiss and she started moving her body side to side really quickly (like she was swimming) and I put her down. I let her be for the rest of that day and the next day the same thing. Today when i took her out and put her on the floor there was another urine discharge followed by the usual constant hissing and the fast side to side wiggling movement. In addition to this behavior when she's out, the hissing to herself whilst in the hide is still occurring, as well as hissing whenever I, or my wife walk past her tank (since she's in a strange new home footsteps annoy her i suppose?).

    Info about the snake:
    Born 05/08
    Has been in shed since 11/30/09
    Last meal was week of 11/30/09

    Being that my wife and I are herp novices is this a situation that will improve? I don't know if we have the skills and know-how to tame a snake that is no longer a small baby. Would you folks recommend taking her back to see if we can get something a bit smaller and easier to work with, or is there some handling advice available to help us out?

    Any replies are welcomed and appreciated. Thank you!

    Sorry for the long post, I was just trying to give as much info as possible :)
  2. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    someone will correct me if i'm wrong, but if the temps are fine then just leave it be for a week or two reptiles in general don't really like change, and need a lot of time to settle in.
  3. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    In my limited experience (I have a blood python), bloods & short tailed pythons have the potential to be the nastiest tempered snakes around. However, I have read that they can also be some of the best snakes ever. Each snake is different in it's temperament and mine although I love her dearly, is pure evil! They tend to be very loud & obnoxious in trying to get them out of the cage---hissing loudly, gaping mouth and assuming a defensive posture. Don't get me wrong- these beautiful snakes are not all bluff- they can and will deliver a VERY nasty bite they are angry enough. Personally, I think the pet store owner is full of beans! He found a beginner to take a snake that beginners have absolutely NO business getting! These snakes are very delicate and require specialized husbandry. Did he tell you they need higher humidity? Did he tell you they can be prone to RI's? Did he tell you that no snake will be in shed for almost a month? No, all he saw was someone to take some stock off of his inventory. He should have also told you the proper temps and humidity and what size enclosure to keep it in. If you need it, I can get those for you. Knowing you were novice with snakes, he should have pointed you in the direction of the corn snakes or even the ball pythons (which by the way can reach a length of 4.5-5 ft and get as big around as a cola can), both of these snakes are perfect for beginners and are very docile when handled.

    If you feel confident in your abilities you can keep the snake, however, I personally would try to get my money back and look for a corn snake or ball python. Please keep us posted and post some pics of your short-tailed python or whatever snake you get.
  4. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Oops, I totally forgot my manners- welcome to HCN! I hope you enjoy your stay. :)
  5. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    Welcome to HC. Sounds like you have a typical short tail. If you choose to keep him he'll be a great snake but I would not expect a short tail or blood ever to be perfectly tame. But most can be handled. After giving your snake a few weeks to settle in start handling it. Really the hardest part is getting the snake out of the cage. A hook works great and even for large snakes it doesn't have to be a long one. Just to control the head while you take the snake from the cage. When handling outside of the cage most snakes will calm down. Just don't put your hands in front of the snake when moving your hands. Bring them in from below or behind the veiw of the snake. If you trade him in there are lots of great snakes out there large and small alike that make wonderful pets for the beginner.
  6. bugbitemcgee

    bugbitemcgee New Member

    Thank you all for your responses. Your feedback and advice means a lot. Well, I did send an e-mail to the herp store where i purchased the snake and they've agreed to take her back and get me something more suited for my experience level. It was suggested (from other sources, I didn't ask the herp store their opinion) that Hog Island Boas are pretty tame and easy to care for, especially if you get them young. Is there any truth to that? I've also heard good things about carpet pythons, most specifically the smaller west papuan variety. My only reservation towards the latter is the length. I would ideally not want a snake to exceed 6 feet (6-6.5 is fine). I am planning to bring the Borneo back tomorrow, can i use the same tank for the new snake once i disinfect (i have ZooMed's WipeOut 1)? Any suggestions for claening the wood log hide and waterdish? Mild dish soap ok?

    Again, any feedback and suggestions are very much appreciated.

    Thank you all for your kindness and wisdom!

    By the way I currently do have a Ball Python and he/she is just the sweetest, most docile little snake. I will post pictures of my lil friend in the future.

    Borneo STP
  7. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    I have no experience with the ZooMed Wipeout product, I personally would clean everything(tank,water dish &wood) in a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. That should be sufficient to kill anything the other snake could have left in the tank. Just soak the wood for a couple of minutes and then you can dry it in your oven on a shallow baking pan with low heat for however long it takes. I don't use all of the expensive reptile cleaning products on the market - 1:10 bleach/water is good enough for me. I also don't buy the expensive basking bulbs for my snakes- I use plain old cheap light bulbs for daylight use and cheap blacklight bulbs for night time use. I am changing those over to ceramic heat emitters though(they normally last a year or more. I have no experience with carpet pythons nor Hogg Island Boas, but I do know Hoggs,being boa constrictors can get between 5-8 feet in length.
  8. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    Most captive bred BCI localities are fairly tame. There is always the off chance of you having a agressive one. Younger animals are nippy at first but calm down. Hoggs and a few of the others stay relitivly small but I find that the size means little when they're tame. I'd take a 7 foot tame snake to handling a 4 foot agressive one any day. Carpets while being longer don't pack the weight that a boa does. They do tend to be really nippy as young animals (at least mine were). I would say carpets tend to be slightly more likely to bite than BCI and BCC, but no where near as much as know agressive snakes, IE Blood pythons, ATBs, Mangrove night snakes....
  9. jeepguy

    jeepguy Elite Member

    If you like the heavier bodied yet not real long snake I would check out the dumeril boa. I love mine and never have I heard of one with bad manners. The enclosure and humidity is very simple as well. Good luck.

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