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*PLEASE READ* - An Important Reminder....

Posted by Sonja K. at 4/7/2009 11:58:02 AM

This is one of those Blogs that's not so fun to write...
And, although it's difficult, I still feel the need to share what happened...

Sunday, late afternoon, Scott and I were in our snake room doing some cage cleaning. We did some more after supper. We put the kids to bed around 8pm, and then went back out to finish up. When I walked into the room, I immediately noticed that the snakes in our small 20 shoebox rack were all laying up in front. I immediately got the temp. gun to check the temps. At that time the backs of the bins were measuring between 98 and 103 degrees depending on their position in the rack. I told Scott, and showed him the thermostat - the light was on, and he had me turn it down until the light went off.

When we had been cleaning before supper, Scott had set his Argentine Boa down to explore a bit while he cleaned out her cage. He lost track of her briefly, but then I had spotted her up where the thermostat for that 20 bin rack is. We figured that she had managed to bump the heat up when she was there.

I spot cleaned everyone's bin in that rack, cleaned out their water dishes, and gave them fresh water. I also pulled all the bins just a bit forward to allow some of the extra heat to escape while we were out there. I went in the house around 9:30pm, and Scott came in a little while later.

Last night, after we put the kids to bed, Scott went back out to our reptile room, and upon entering, he noticed the smell of what he thought was a dead rodent. We had fed last Thursday, and everyone had ate, so he started looking for a possible regurge.

Oh how we wish that was what he had found.....

Instead, as he went to look in that 20 bin rack, he noticed all the snakes in front of their bins again. He pulled one open and felt a noticeable rush of heat come out. His heart dropped as he realized that the probe for the thermostat had fallen out when his Argentine Boa had climbed up there... and we, well, hadn't noticed / checked that. With out the probe in place, the heat had been on constantly for a good 24+ hours.

At this time, we have lost 6 of the 20 that were in that rack, including:
1 . 1 Lavender Corn Snakes (Iris and Spazz)
1 . 1 White-Sided Black Rat Snakes (Gemini and Libra)
0 . 1 Nicaraguan x Pastel Columbian Crossed Boa (Nicci)
1 . 0 Jaguar Carpet Python (Titan) -This is by far the most difficult one for Scott.

As of this morning, his female diamond python (Vasilia) is still a bit lethargic. For now, the others seem to be fine. We will do what we can to keep them hydrated as we know there is a tendancy for them to get dehydrated after such an event. We will probably be able to tell within the next 24 to 48 hours if the others are going to be okay or not.

In sharing this, my hope is to remind everyone just how important the placement of the probe is. Make sure your probes are securely in place - taped, velcroed, however....

 Comments: View Oldest First  

Sonja ,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 12:03:38 PM  
Oh my gosh, Sonja!!  I am so incredibly sorry to see this.  What a tragedy. 

Thanks so much for the warning.  It is so helpful when people share the freak things that happen so others can be more aware and hopefully prevent a similar disaster.

I am really just so sorry.

So, do the other 13 snakes seem to be OK, or do you think there is still cause for concern about them?

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 12:08:41 PM  
There are 13 that seem to be just fine. The Female Diamond still seems a bit slower this morning, but isn't any worse than last night, so that is good.

Sonja ,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 1:04:44 PM  
I went and looked at the pages of the ones who didn't make it.  Gemini has always been a favorite of mine because I have a weird history with white sided black rat snakes, and I also have a snake named Gemini, so your Gemini really caught my eye.

I can see where Scott would be heartbroken about Titan.  What a loss.

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 1:12:16 PM  
Here is a recent pic of the 2 white-sided black rats:
White-sidedblackratsnakes031109.jpg Gemini and Libra picture by bka_reptiles

Sonja ,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 1:18:11 PM  
Wow.  That is a really nice portrait of them.  Poor babies. 

Posted At: 4/7/2009 1:35:04 PM  
Sonja,  I am so sorry to hear of the trajedy.  This once happened to me as well.  I only lost two but I felt so sick to my stomach and so small.  I hated myself for a long while.  You know, I don't know if I will ever really get over it.  I lost an albino ball and a BRB female. 

I totally know how you feel and I hope that you dont feel like this forever.  Take care, and thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Brooks,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 3:26:59 PM  
im so sorry to you both for the losses to your collection. It really could have happened to any of us. Try to console yourself and think of all the sucsess you have shared. This is simply one of those freak little miniscule things. I know nothing can replace your losses but do not be dicouraged. Your still a credit to the hobby with your animals and the obvious care you put into them.

Kristen P,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 3:43:06 PM  
Wow, those are beautiful snakes.  I'm so sorry to hear of your loss!  I don't have any rack systems yet but when I get one, I am going to heed your's imbedded in my brain.  My heart goes out to you! 

Melanie Bernal ,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 6:06:00 PM  
So sorry to hear what happened, Sonja. Glad to hear that most in the rack are ok. 

Take care.

Posted At: 4/7/2009 7:09:57 PM  
So sorry, hope the rest pull through just fine. 

Katie Baker,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 7:26:19 PM  
I am so sorry!

Jarred ,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 8:23:22 PM  
So sorry Sonja! Glad you shared so others can learn from this. I hope for a complete recovery from the surviors.

Leeann ,
Posted At: 4/7/2009 11:17:16 PM  
My condolences on the little lost ones... I hope you do take heart in that it was just one of those things that happens unforunately - a freak accident.

Jim Mangum,
Posted At: 4/8/2009 12:57:23 AM  
Sorry to hear of your loss! Hope everyone else comes through alright

Lauren ,
Posted At: 4/8/2009 1:18:27 PM  
Oh no! :( That is completely awful and I'm so sorry for your loss..

Posted At: 5/6/2009 8:02:18 PM  
Gah.. i am sorry to hear about this.. I didnt know..

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