Ball pythons are notorious for getting out of their cages. For that matter, snakes in general are notorious escape artists. For this reason, it is not a good idea for unexperienced snake keepers to keep dangerous snakes. That said, I learned my lesson the hard way with my pet ball python years back. Here is what happened.
The ball python that I had was a pretty stout one. It went about six feet or so, and was pretty thick around the middle. The snake had always been a very laid back snake, and was not prone to strike in the least. We had no small pets or children in the house, and the ball python does not get terribly large, so we did not worry too much about it getting out of it’s cage. Big mistake….
One morning I woke up and walked over to say good morning. When I did, the lid of the cage had been moved away just enough for the snake to get out, and the ball python was gone! No snake anywhere. I searched that apartment for hours. I started to panic a bit, because the snake could be anywhere. I wasn’t worried about the snake actually harming anyone, but I was worried that an escaped six foot python could alarm the heck out of the neighbors not to mention the snake itself.
After about six hours and several uncomfortable conversations with the neighbors, I gave in and when to work.
I got home that night and started to implement some of the many ideas given to me by coworkers. I tried putting out some food. I tried the ventilation system. I tried the heaters and ducts. I tried everything. After about six more hours, I gave up ever finding that ball python.
I fixed myself some supper, and then got myself propped up in front of the television for the latest “Seinfeld” episode. Then it hit me.
The television is often considered a prime hiding spot for escaped snakes because of the heat source. Not so much the television as under the television. The problem was, the only way to check it out was to stick my head down there and look. Now a six foot python that decides to bite you is not very fun. I figured that it would be a bit cranky and maybe a bit hungry as well. Not a good mixture when you are putting your face down into a small area.
I stuck my head down to peek under the television where there was about three inches of clearance. As soon as I did, my ball python bit me right on the nose. The strike nearly gave me a heart attack. I had never seen him strike unless he was eating and seeing it that close up and personal was a snake bite experience I would have loved to have missed.
I finally got him out of there, but only with the promise of food. I waved a little mouse (dead) in front of the opening and slowly brought it out far enough that I could get him behind the head.
I learned my lesson about escaping snakes that day. From that point forward, I always kept my snake safely tucked away and the locks in place. My nose is now healed, but I will never forget that snake bite..