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Posted by Chance on July 11, 2002 at 23:22:22:
I've had a mangrove snake for a couple of weeks now. She was wild caught and is about 4' long or so. As I've said in earlier posts, she is an incredibly docile snake, and has retained that docility throughout her stay here.
Well, tonight I really put that docility and willingness to cooperate to the test. So far, she has eaten one water snake (small, of course), and a gerbil pinky. However, she acted scared to death of mice (live ones). She would always shy away from them like they intimidated the hell out of her. It started to get me worried, until tonight. She is a very healthy snake, all except for a slight nose rub, but she has been de-wormed and de-flaggylated and such. I was just afraid she was going to try to stay on reptiles or something similar (and I don't have an over-abundance of baby gerbils any longer). Well, tonight I had left a pre-killed mouse in there with her for a few hours to see if that would do the trick. I checked on her a while ago, no luck. So I decided to try something new. I picked her up (keep in mind, she is completely docile and has never bitten anyone here), restrained her head, and placed the dead mouse's head in her mouth. She bit, so I thought what the hell, and sat her on the floor of my snake room. To my utter surprise, instead of spitting the mouse out immediately like I thought she would, she proceeded to work the mouse down, even with me continually keeping her in that one area so she wouldn't slip off. I watched her eat the whole thing, then I picked her up and put her back in her cage. She then proceeded to use the branches in her cage to help work the mouse down further.
So there ya go. For you keepers that have picky mangroves, and that can get ahold of them at night (I stress at night because they are only supposed to feed at this time), you might consider trying this method. A week from now I'll leave a dead mouse in there a few hours and check again, and try the same method if she still isn't eating on her own. This isn't force-feeding, so it shouldn't be very stressful to the snake. I like to think of this as "assisted feeding." Anyway, if you want to go check out our little Libra (the mangrove) as well as the rest of our collection, check out the webpage below. Hope this can help someone.