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Posted by murdoch on April 19, 2003 at 20:04:43:
In Reply to: Retic Room and Ambush Behavior posted by tango on April 17, 2003 at 06:12:55:
I have kept retics both ways, walk in room with giant snakes, and cages with side and open top enclosures. My biggest retic female was dog tame, but had a voracious feeding response as an alpha predator. Back in the late 1970s I would feed her groundhogs, chickens, and rabbits and geese. I had a window on her cage, and would never open the door without knowing exactly where she was. I kept a broom, trashcan lid, ski jacket and gloves, and my highschool lineman cage faced football helmet next to the door and when i had to clean the cage, i would don the gear in preparation for her feeding response. whenever the door opened, she would bull rush the door, open mouth strike at whatever came into her cage, and on several occasions, stream open mouthed out the door after me. Once she realized from being blocked with the trach can lid, and gently tapped in the head and neck with the broom that there was no food coming, she would pull back to her resting place and let me come in. I would then undo the gear, and walk right in in my shorts and tshirt. She would neck lift and look me in the face, and crawl onto my shoulders for a play session. My friends would think i was absolutely nuts, having just witnessed the feeding response. I was unaware at the time just how dangerous my 20+ft retic was, and would usually clean and play with her alone. Never again would i even think about that now! I had the curator of reptiles from the philly zoo over at that time, and seeing her size, he insisted that i get rid of her, euthanize her or donate her to a zoo asap as he considered her a timebomb waiting to go off. Ah, the good old days...
Small opening cage door is a whole lot easier to monitor!