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 Post subject: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2018, 10:41 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Location: Camden County, Missouri
Finally got my pics to down-size! Kelly Mc was only response I got from earlier post. I did like her Utopia Effect theory! Surely someone out there has a logical explanation as to why a snake being kept 13 years would come back to that very same place she had escaped from 3 months earlier. Was it telemetry or the desire to hibernate there? Escaped in August and was found 2 months later 300 feet from her cage. A month after that she was found inside the building where she had been kept for 13 years.

1st pic shows the building she came back to! She was found under tin at the edge of the trees in the background a month before she came home!

2nd pic shows where she was found, one of my biggest surprises EVER!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2018, 10:53 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Location: Camden County, Missouri
Hard to describe my feelings when I saw her on top of my bull snake cage. My thoughts went from loose snake! milk snake! OMG my milk snake!!!! :D :D :D

I had the top back on her cage so I wonder if she actually tried to get back in there. Only about 3 feet away. That would have been the ultimate!

Thanks for looking!

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2018, 1:03 pm 

Joined: August 26th, 2010, 9:56 am
Posts: 98
I did not respond because I had nothing to add but thought it was one of the coolest stories around. Now it's even better. I hope you will be able to leave the cage open with free access, Art


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2018, 3:21 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2238
Location: Unicoi, TN
Fascinating story, Gary. :thumb: :thumb:
Nothing surprizes me anymore.


Questions that come to mind are:
Can cage escapees get into and out of your building where the cages are?
Do you raise mice here?


When I was a kid I had a 30" western gopher snake (non-native to my location) escape a cage in my unfinished basement (half was dirt floor.)

Found it 10 months later in the same basement in good health.

The basement had a reasonable wild colony of White Footed Mice, but had absolutely no access to sunlight, unless it found a mouse tunnel to the outside.


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2018, 9:40 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
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Location: "Buy My Books"-land
So, when you found her under the tin 2 months after escaping you just let her stay there? Then she wandered back into the snake room by herself? Is that the gist of this? I think that's what i read. So you weren't too concerned about her escape and decided to let her stay in the wild when discovered the first time under the tin?

I would imagine that she came back into the building for food or warmth, and once being inside might have recognized scents and surroundings, and decided to stay.


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2018, 6:09 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Location: Camden County, Missouri
Thanks Art for the comment!

Bill, there is a 6 x 6 snake room inside the 10 x 10 building. The smaller room is snake proof except for the bottum of the door which she could have squeezed through. And yes I did raise mice about 5 years ago.

Interesting story about your gopher snake and thanks for commenting!

Brian, glad you commented because I was getting ready to PM you about your opinion.

The story was after 13 years she escaped in August, found under tin 300 feet away in October. Totally estatic about finding her of which I had already decided to let her live her last days in the wild. Adult when found so probably some age there. We handled her and measured and took some pics. 3 days later she was still under that same tin. A month after that was when she showed up on top of the other cages. We find an average of 6 milks a year on our property with some maybe as much as a dozen times. So the good habitat was past the tree line. Have never found a milk in the pasture. She must have used a scent trail to find her way back is all I can think! She also has lost some weight this past year which makes me think she may be getting up in years.

After her coming back home I have decided to keep her and give her the best care I can!

Thanks for commenting, I thought you knew a lot about milks and kings. A friend has your books and they are impressive!

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 24th, 2018, 5:29 am 

Joined: May 12th, 2013, 5:47 pm
Posts: 111
It's a great story. I doubt it'll come out as a Disney movie, but it's still a great story.


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 24th, 2018, 8:01 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Location: Unicoi, TN
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She must have used a scent trail to find her way back is all I can think!
Although I've never seen a study on Milks, it does seem more and more studies with transmitters attached show many genera with mini-ranges where possible olfactory queues may be involved, hence the debate on relocation of nuisance animals.
13 years of home range where there was adequate water, shelter from harassing predators, regular food, comfortable temps, and little sexual wander lust (no pun intended) is a long time to not require the freedom of the outside world.

The olfactory sense is something most of us humans are oblivious to, when compared to vertebrates in general.
I'm always in awe of how a venomous snake can strike a rodent and the track it many yards with "smell" (vomeronasal) and/or heat trail, but, then, I'm even jealous of our dogs on a hike when they are aware of so much animal activity about which we have no clue.

BH
Quote:
It's a great story. I doubt it'll come out as a Disney movie
Probably not Disney, but with the trend for zombie movies, I could see one where zombie milk snakes are rampantly attacking lactose intolerant people. :lol: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 24th, 2018, 9:49 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
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Location: "Buy My Books"-land
:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 24th, 2018, 9:51 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
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Location: "Buy My Books"-land
Gary2sons wrote:

Thanks for commenting, I thought you knew a lot about milks and kings. A friend has your books and they are impressive!

Gary


Well, thanks...and one of these days I'll actually finish the Milk Snake book... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: January 24th, 2018, 9:53 am 

Joined: November 4th, 2010, 7:02 pm
Posts: 93
Very interesting observations Gary.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 10:15 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
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That's a great story.

With the Burmese Pythons we were tracking in Bangladesh, they often exhibited an interesting pattern related to homing. When one would create a problem (eating domestic ducks) and need to be rescued/moved, they would sometimes be taken as much as 7-8 km away. If I recall correctly, often they would sort of sit in their new area for a month or two...and then make a beeline back to the general area of the capture site, in at least one case covering over a kilometer in that direction in a single day.

My random theory is that they moved cautiously and slowly, careful in this new and unfamiliar environment...until they crossed something that would "trip" some sort of instilled memory of a place they had been before. Once they hit that trip then their internal map would reorient and they'd be able to go back where they wanted to.


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 Post subject: Re: Update on my milk snake that came home after escaping!
PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 5:43 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Location: Camden County, Missouri
Thanks everyone for the comments!

Brian Hubbs wrote:
Gary2sons wrote:

Thanks for commenting, I thought you knew a lot about milks and kings. A friend has your books and they are impressive!

Gary


Well, thanks...and one of these days I'll actually finish the Milk Snake book... :lol:


Just don't wait many more years! :thumb:

Jonathan, very interesting about your python studies! The random theory could very well be correct. Thanks for commenting!


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