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Escape Artists


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Posted by James Van Dyke on November 19, 2001 at 00:14:18:

I'm doing undergrad research at my university with a neurobiologist who studies IR sensing in Pythons, Boas, and Vipers. He, a grad student, and I are all avid snake keepers and researchers and he was able to procure a room in a university-owned building off campus to take care of his own collection.

He keeps several carpet and burmese pythons and a bunch of Dumeril's Boas. He also has about 20-30 California and Variable kingsnakes all in this room. The kingsnakes are all in Rubbermaid containers and the boas/pythons are all in wood/glass cages he custom built. Right now he is also holding 2 Ring Pythons for the grad student we work with.

Friday we went to clean cages and feed snakes. We opened the door to find the floor littered with the rubbermaid containers, 4 of the open. There was a black pinesnake on the floor near the door, a 7 foot dumeril's boa behind a cabinet, and a cal king in a mop bucket. One of the ring pythons (who has escaped before) had also somehow managed to open its cage (the cages are all locked and have swinging front doors with hinges on the bottom.

Apparently my professor had left the dumeril cage open, letting this boa climb up on the table and knock 10 rubbermaids down on the floor. Later, or maybe earlier, the Ring had somehow opened its cage (3rd time) and gotten loose. We found 2 of the snakes which had escaped from the rubbermaids.

Where were the other 2 (1 banded, 1 albino cal king)? Well, we know what happened to at least one because there was a huge lump in the ring python. We assume it ate both but one may have just escaped.

I do know that all the snakes were a little freaked by the whole incident. The normally tame cal kings were all wild with action trying to escape our touch. The other times I've been there you could do almost anything, but this time they were WILD.

Man what a night that was....


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