Just Realized My Carpet Python Likes To Play Games

ZooRex

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
506
Its been a while since I posted so I thought I'd share this recent event with my snake.

While away at school my 6' carpet python got a chance to fast and loose a bit of weight. Four hearty meals in 8 months meant that he was hungry when I came home in June. He grabbed the rat with great entusiasm, but after a few minutes I was surprsed to see him completley ignoring it. I figured he was having trouble finding the head so I picked it up and he grabbed it again, only to let it go and slither away. This continued three more times until it was too late and I went to bed. In the morning the rat was gone so I was content.

Now last week, time to feed again. Another rat, an even more enthusiastic feeding response - two coils before I could blink, and again loss of interest. I waited a few minutes, picked up the rat but before lifting it 3 inches my carpet took it again, only to drop it once more. It wasn't until I came back a thrid time that I noticed my carpet was waiting next to the rat. This time I barely had to touch it with hemostats before he struck. After this I went to bed and again the rat was eaten in the morning.

I do not want to sound like some one who finds human intelligence in their animals, but I don't think its a strech to say that my carpet python was "playing" with his food. It would appear to me that he enjoys hunting and striking his meals so much, that he lets it go a few times only to let me pick it up so he can grab it again. Haha!
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
my JCP does this, also. I don't think it's due to his intelligence, because quite frankly, he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, lol. I just think that he forgets what he's doing and gets distracted. If I offer the rat to him again, he will grab it as enthusiastically as before, like this is the first time he's seen it. It might take me doing this three or four times before he finally concentrates on it long enough to eat it, and usually I have to leave the room, because if anything moves, he'll drop the rat to see what's going on, and then might not go back to the rat.

pitbulllady
 

VinceG

Arachnobaron
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
375
My carpet python prefer striking at my arm {D. He is so mean! Nice story!
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Apr 11, 2007
Messages
5,450
That's kinda crazy. I don't really know snakes so forgive me if this is an ignorant post but... Are you guys feeding prekilled prey? If so then maybe the snake is expecting some sort of fight but doesn't get it. So it stops. Then you move the prey so the snake thinks it's alive and strikes again. Repeat as needed. Possibly just a confused live prey response?

Sound reasonable?
 

VinceG

Arachnobaron
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
375
That's kinda crazy. I don't really know snakes so forgive me if this is an ignorant post but... Are you guys feeding prekilled prey? If so then maybe the snake is expecting some sort of fight but doesn't get it. So it stops. Then you move the prey so the snake thinks it's alive and strikes again. Repeat as needed. Possibly just a confused live prey response?

Sound reasonable?
I feed my python frozen thawed rat. So yeah, they are dead, and your theories could be right!
 

ZooRex

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
506
That's kinda crazy. I don't really know snakes so forgive me if this is an ignorant post but... Are you guys feeding prekilled prey? If so then maybe the snake is expecting some sort of fight but doesn't get it. So it stops. Then you move the prey so the snake thinks it's alive and strikes again. Repeat as needed. Possibly just a confused live prey response?

Sound reasonable?
I've always feed thawed to all of my animals, never live. I also agree with pitbulllady and don't attribute the event with some level of higher thought (ie my snake knows he is "playing" with his keeper) but mearly that instead of eating his meal right away he would rather wait and strike it a few more times.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
That's kinda crazy. I don't really know snakes so forgive me if this is an ignorant post but... Are you guys feeding prekilled prey? If so then maybe the snake is expecting some sort of fight but doesn't get it. So it stops. Then you move the prey so the snake thinks it's alive and strikes again. Repeat as needed. Possibly just a confused live prey response?

Sound reasonable?
Yes, I feed frozen/thawed prey exclusively, but keep in mind that I also have some 30 snakes, not just this one, yet the JCP is the only one that does this. Once a Boa or Corn or Rat Snake grabs the prey, they don't let go except to find the head and start swallowing! It could very well be a "confused prey response", and the JCP is the only one that's dense enough to fall victim to it. The rest of the snakes just eat, whether I move the prey initially or not. With many, like my Ball Python and the Coachwhips, I just have to leave the dead rodent in the cage and walk away and leave the snakes alone for awhile, and the rodent will be gone when I return. I'm firmly against feeding live rodents to snakes unless there is absolutely no other way to get the snake to eat, since I've seen way too many horribly disfigured snakes whose intended meal ripped them apart. Some people who live near me are currently caring for a large Colombian Boa who is missing most of the front part of her face; her entire upper snout is gone, due to her meal turning around and latching onto her face before it died and infection destroying the tissue. She can only eat mice now, even though this is a six-foot snake, and has to have her mouth frequently flushed out with an antibiotic solution to prevent recurring mouth rot. No way I'd risk that happening to one of my babies!

pitbulllady
 
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