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Today we picked up a MBK from a friend of the wife, whom could no longer care for it due to a fear that came from the snake biting her a couple of times, and new fella having a proper phobia of snakes in general!

This fear has meant the snake hasn't been cared for correctly for some time.

The snake came with a 3' Exoterra vivarium and various bits and bobs, including hides, branches, foliage, thermometer,
Viv is currently filled with a 5cm deep mixture of aspen and bark,
its had a heat mat for heat but was supplied with an old 60w heat lamp.

We've been informed that the snake used to be handled (approx a year old) with no issues, but in the last few months had bitten when hand went into viv.

It has been fed mice in the vivarium every week with mixed success.

When I picked it up this morning the snake was extremely aggressive in the viv, hissing, striking and rattling its tail, since bringing it home, we've left it in its viv but tidied around, clearing poop, and the two mice that it refused last night, given its water bowl a good clean and disinfected it.

We've put the 60w bulb into a spare lamp that we had with Living Earth pulse proportional stat, I'll pick up a 150w ceramic heat bulb up tomorrow to give it the best heating, in all honesty are house is always fairly warm so the ambient temps should be more suitable than its previous home.

we'll leave the snake in there for the next week to settle before attempting to handle,
I want to start feeding in a separate container to start disassociating its home as its place of feeding.

We will also give the viv a deep clean once snake is removed.

I do have my concerns about about been bitten myself,
What can I do to help eleviate the snakes stress levels when attempting to remove from viv and handle?
Also in the even of it bitting me, what can I do to remove the little monkey!

I hope I've covered enough information to help answer my concerns and maybe allow you to add to what you'd do differently?

Any sound advice would be welcome!

Thanks



 

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Today we picked up a MBK from a friend of the wife, whom could no longer care for it due to a fear that came from the snake biting her a couple of times, and new fella having a proper phobia of snakes in general!

This fear has meant the snake hasn't been cared for correctly for some time.

The snake came with a 3' Exoterra vivarium and various bits and bobs, including hides, branches, foliage, thermometer,
Viv is currently filled with a 5cm deep mixture of aspen and bark,
its had a heat mat for heat but was supplied with an old 60w heat lamp.

We've been informed that the snake used to be handled (approx a year old) with no issues, but in the last few months had bitten when hand went into viv.

It has been fed mice in the vivarium every week with mixed success.

When I picked it up this morning the snake was extremely aggressive in the viv, hissing, striking and rattling its tail, since bringing it home, we've left it in its viv but tidied around, clearing poop, and the two mice that it refused last night, given its water bowl a good clean and disinfected it.

We've put the 60w bulb into a spare lamp that we had with Living Earth pulse proportional stat, I'll pick up a 150w ceramic heat bulb up tomorrow to give it the best heating, in all honesty are house is always fairly warm so the ambient temps should be more suitable than its previous home.

we'll leave the snake in there for the next week to settle before attempting to handle,
I want to start feeding in a separate container to start disassociating its home as its place of feeding.

We will also give the viv a deep clean once snake is removed.

I do have my concerns about about been bitten myself,
What can I do to help eleviate the snakes stress levels when attempting to remove from viv and handle?
Also in the even of it bitting me, what can I do to remove the little monkey!

I hope I've covered enough information to help answer my concerns and maybe allow you to add to what you'd do differently?

Any sound advice would be welcome!

Thanks

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Don't feed it in a different container, you'll most likely disturb it & put it further off its food.
Get it sexed- if it's male, male Getula complex kings fast during winter.
You might have get bitten many times before it tames down, if it ever does- most Getula kings tend to be snappy, & MBKs are particularly notorious. Try wearing gloves, or if it never tames down, consider getting a snake hook.
Everything else sounds fine.
 

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Agreed, moving to a tub to feed is unnecessary and likely to cause further issues. If the setup is right it should start feeding again when it is ready. My MBK hasn't fed in weeks but as said this is normal so I am not bothered, he will start again in his own time. Kings do tend to be temperamental, being perfectly fine one day then psychotic the next. This often comes in phases but is usually confined to the viv, meaning that even on their touchy days if you can ignore it and get them out anyway they normally settle down pretty quick. Personally I quite like this personality trait as it makes them a little more interesting to work with than some of the calmer species. If they do bite they tend to hang on, but it doesn't really hurt, I just wait until they let go again. When you have been bitten a couple of times and realised it is not that big a deal you will be more confident and that is the key. Being able to go straight in and pick up before they get a chance to aim a strike will avoid most of the issues. If you struggle with this then as said, gloves or a hook (if you know how to use one) will help. Handling at this point is not the priority though. Give the snake plenty of time to settle down and ideally start feeding again before messing around too much.
 
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