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Newly Found Lost Snake Has Substantially Grown?

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by Sententia, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Sententia

    Sententia Member

    Hi, about two months ago I accidentally left my snake cage unlatched and to my horror my two and half year old desert kingsnake escaped. After realizing it was gone I tore my house apart looking for it but could not find it anywhere! I tried the flour trick and I placed live pinky mice in boxes around the house to draw it out but to no avail. Now, a two months later, I open the front door to find a snake sitting there (outside)! It looked exactly like my snake only much larger. It is way thicker and more muscular and looks like it went through a major growth spurt! To the point that I had difficulty believing it was my snake at first, but I compared it to old photos and its marking are identical and when I gave it a frozen mouse it ate it immediately. Not something a wild snake would do. It has not grown so much in two months the entire time I had it though. Have I not been feeding it correctly? I usually feed two to three pinkys a week. Now it looks too big to eat pinkys, but before it looked too small to eat anything bigger. I was a bit concerned before that it was two years old and still so small. Now I'm concerned that it apparently was better off as a wild snake! My question, why might it have grown so much?
  2. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    That's pretty intense! O.O Idk how much growth he or she may have in two months, though. May as well hold onto the one you found and call it good :)

    Do you have wild king snakes where you live?
  3. Sententia

    Sententia Member

    I do have wild kingsnakes where I live. So it would be possible for it to be a different snake, but it would be very coincidental for it to have identical markings and to be so calm and willing to eat a frozen mouse. From my experience it's nearly impossible to get wild snakes to eat anything other than live food. So unless one of my neighbors is missing a snake too... I wonder if it was just about to go through a major growth spurt when it escaped? I'm not sure, but I am happy that it's back either way! I've been so worried that he's been freezing and/or starving, but I guess he was able to find plenty of food on his own. haha
  4. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Just continue to keep an eye out for the one that you lost, just in case you do in fact have the wrong snake! Congrats :)
  5. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Usually only babies are on pinkies. How are you comparing the size of the feeder to the snake? Pinkies don't offer much so even chondros I try to switch as soon as I can. Did you compare to the head or to the body thickness when feeding ?
  6. Sententia

    Sententia Member

    I compared the size of his body, he did seem thinner than I expected him to be which is why I kept feeding him multiple pinkys every week. I bought some fuzzies a while ago and tried to give him one and he did manage to eat it, but it took him over an hour to swallow it and it really looked like he was struggling... So I went back to pinkys again. Now he is definitely large enough to eat something bigger though, he's not any longer but his head is bigger and he is way more muscular. I wonder if he wasn't getting enough exercise? Not that I've heard of a snake needing exercise... Or was there something wrong with my cage setup that was stressing him out and causing him to be stunted? His cage was in a rather busy part of the house, but he never acted anxious. I'm not sure.

    I will keep an eye out but I think this is him. His markings are identical down to every spot and desert kings do have a lot of variation between them. When I put him back in his cage he went straight to his hide like he knew the cage too.
  7. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    As long as it has heat and regular meals it should grown.... any pics? Also congrats on finding it again!
  8. Sententia

    Sententia Member

    Here are some pictures of before and after. The top two I took today and the bottom two I took about four months ago. Looking at them side by side he actually does not look like he grew as much as I thought. Maybe I had just forgotten how big he has been getting! It seems like just yesterday he was very tiny... But for those who have lost snakes, don't give up hope! They might just show up on your front doorstep! I will start feeding him fuzzies now though.

    Small Snake.jpg
  9. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think that's the same snake.
  10. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

  11. Sententia

    Sententia Member

    I circled the most clear markings in the images, the patterns are identical. Is there something else that I am not seeing? I do not want to trick myself into seeing what I want to see.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, ok, that is glare from the light which was not there in there for the last picture! He does not have a white spot on his head.
  12. Sententia

    Sententia Member

  13. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Maybe it is your snake then! I saw the identical neck markings that you circled the first time I looked at it, but then I saw what I thought was head markings so. Perhaps you did find your snake! :)
  14. Sententia

    Sententia Member

    It seems to good to be true to me, but I think I have! Hope I have anyway...
  15. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    Looks like the same to me, and yes that is way too small a prey for a two year old kingsnake. It likely would have to do with the nutritional deficiencies of long time rearing on pinkies. Pinkies are ok prey in the beginning as they are nice and fatty, but the mineral content is not great as they have no bones yet (just cartilage basically). Its important to give them larger rodents to give them all the mineral content they need to grow. The muscle definition will be down to exercise, yes. That is a common finding with wild vs captive animals. That snake was probably cruising around every second it was sleeping, so you can imagine the difference in muscle tone that would accompany that.

    Its hard to tell the size of the snake from those pictures. How long is it and roughly how big around? At two years old I would think it could easily be taking adult mice without any issue.
  16. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    It looks like the same guy too me. I bet when he was loose he found some nests of mice and gorged himself. A lot of the times when you up the prey size you get a growth spurt like that. Knowing kings appitiate I wouldn't be surprized if he ate everything that moved.
    Congrats on finding him again!
  17. OrchidPal

    OrchidPal Elite Member

    Hurray!! I love it that he came right to the door. Too cold, let me in! An amazing story. I'm very happy for you! :D
  18. Sarandacotah

    Sarandacotah Well-Known Member

    COOLEST STORY EVERRRRR!!!!!! Cannot stop smiling and giggling to myself lol. :)
  19. Sententia

    Sententia Member

    I will be feeding him larger food from now on, and I know it is crazy! I was so sure my carelessness had lost him forever... I have been looking everywhere through the house and he shows up at the front door! I don't think I have ever been so happy! I really want to know where he's been all this time. If he's been outside this whole time or if he just recently got out. He has been sitting in his water dish and drinking tons since he got back, so I think he has at least missed having a full bowl of water available! Other than that he seems healthy and happy though. His name is The Fancy Worm by the way, but he is usually just known as Pretty Snake!

  20. Dan216

    Dan216 Member

    That could be light reflection, because looking at the patterns directly below the head...they look exactly identical. I'm thinking her little friend got homesick and decided to show up at the door.

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