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My Life In Reptiles
06-12-2013, 02:34 PM,
#1
ArmyOfDreams Offline
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My Life In Reptiles
Hey all! I have been gone a long time. But now I'm back, have no fear. Clap I'm posting some updates about my own reptile, and some that I work with often but do not own.

First things first - last year I posted some pictures of my bearded dragon Kaiah; she/he was young then, and is still young, but now she/he is fully grown (I originally thought Kaiah was female, but now that Kaiah is basically an adult I'm leaning much more toward male). Here is Kaiah currently:
[Image: 2013-05-05_20-19-03_652.jpg]

He's still on newspaper, and his enclosure is extremely boring. I know beardies don't need a whole heck of a lot going on in their cage but believe me...it's boring. I'm adding a sandbox and maybe some other climbing material in the near future!


Other reptiles: I've been spending a lot more time with the reptiles at the university where I work as a student animal caretaker (we have a diverse collection of 27 species of all kinds of animals). My favorite reptile (since this is the reptile forum) is...all of them. I love all of them. I'm not anywhere close to being an expert, but of the workers currently helping over the summer I'm the most experienced reptile person. I'm pretty much the only tegu handler, and I'm one of the only ones brave enough to get out the kingsnake or the boa on a regular basis. Our red-tailed boa can be challenging, though, she's too curious for her own good and gets stuck places sometimes. She's kind of fat for a snake and doesn't realize that just because her head fits doesn't mean the rest of her fits.

I do have one question, though - what is the best method to go about socializing a juvenile black rat snake? We have one that I think is 1-2 years old, slightly less than a foot long, and he's not quite as big around as your finger (his head is smaller than a thumbnail). For a tiny snake he's a huge brat, he gets really stressed out when we try to handle him - rattles his tale, strikes, the whole nine yards. To be fair, getting him out is REALLY noisy, we have to tape his cage shut because he is tiny and has escaped multiple times - the noise bothers him a lot. But he still needs to be handled. I'm okay handling him, but my bravery won't help the workers who aren't comfortable with snakes and don't bother getting him out because he bites or is small. Obviously handling is the answer here, but is there any little trick or method that works well with young snakes?

Here is Rickey the baby rat snake (no, the spatula is NOT in his cage):
[Image: 2013-03-02_12-13-03_645.jpg]
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06-24-2013, 02:39 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: My Life In Reptiles
Thanks for the photos. Can't believe that I have just noticed this thread. Sorry!

The beard dragon is as cute as ever. The cave looks nice. Does the beard dragon use the cave often?

I am not sure how good the eye sight of a rat snake is. In the photo, it certainly looks like the little guy is looking straight at the camera. Big Grin

Thanks again for sharing!
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06-30-2013, 03:58 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: My Life In Reptiles
Looking Good AOD! The beardie looks great!

As for the little rat snake, do you have a small hook there at the school? Many snakes, especially the squirmy colubrids, are mostly threatened by the actual act of reaching in to grab them. In a small tank, it is difficult to reach underneath the animal, which helps this problem. So a small hook, lift the animal up, and then place him gentley in your hand. This will probably help quite a bit, though you will have to watch that he doesn't dive off of the hook!
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07-16-2013, 12:46 PM,
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ArmyOfDreams Offline
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RE: My Life In Reptiles
Thor: Yes, Kaiah uses his cave all the time! It's his favorite sleeping spot. Funny story, the reason I need to get him a sandbox so badly is because he thinks he can excavate a tunnel through the interior of the cave by digging at it. At least he's keeping his nails filed down, haha. Wink

Fishbone: The smallest hook we have is about 2 - 2.5 feet long, perfect size for adults like the kingsnake, corn snake or our ball pythons. It's entirely too big for Rickey, though, we've tried. Or at least, if that IS the right size/the smallest size available, we haven't developed our hook technique enough to use it on him! Thanks for the tip, though, I'll talk it over with my boss and we can go from there. Big Grin
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08-04-2013, 07:12 AM,
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SereneScales Offline
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RE: My Life In Reptiles
Those are very nice animals. However, please do not take this the wrong way but newspaper is the best option for your beardie! All sand, including the calcium sand crud pet shops peddle, is notorious for causing impaction which most likely will lead to the death of a pet. Truth be told most beardies the wild will be living on dirt, not sand! But none the less, very beautiful.
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08-05-2013, 12:24 PM,
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ArmyOfDreams Offline
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RE: My Life In Reptiles
Thanks for the tip/your concern Smile But, I have not filled the whole enclosure with sand, because sand is a pain to clean and I might have to move his cage around in the near future and there is carpet and sand would just be a terrible idea. Kaiah has a removable sandbox in which he can dig if he so chooses, but the rest of his enclosure is still newspaper. ^_^
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