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FWC's - Aggressive cagemates?


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Posted by Chris_Harper2 on September 02, 2002 at 12:29:51:

I have 2.2 FWC's, all are between 3.5' and 4.5'. They have been primarily been housed as singles but have also been kept in pairs off and on. I even had all four together for a couple of weeks while I did some cage repair.

I did some re-arranging this Saturday and took them from their individual cages and put together as pairs into larger cages - large enough to house adults.

This AM I heard some strange sounds coming from my room and went in to find the female of the smaller pair had the top part of the male's head in her mouth. There was blood in the corner of her jaws.

I quickly grabbed each of them and was able to pull them apart. I did not have a very good hold on the female and she quickly turned around and tried to bite me so I dropped her. She went for the male again and grabbed him on the back about 6" down from his head. A lot of blood this time.

I tried the grab the female but this left me open to a bite from the male (who was not happy). I ran and grabbed a cotton swab, dipped it in dilute isopropyl and used a pair of forceps to introduce it into the mouth of the female. She dropped the male and I was able to get him out and treat the wounds.

So I post this for general interest but also to see in anyone has witnessed anything similar?

The snakes had not been fed in over 10 days so this was not a case of a conspecific smelling of mice. I suppose it could have been a feeding response but I suspect it was not.

Another possibility is that the pairs were mixed up and this was male-male aggressive behavior. The cage they were in had previously held my largest female so her scent is likely still present. She was only in the cage for a short time but she did shed while in there. However, my males are on the small side so I would not expect this.

Interesting in hearing everyone's input.


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