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Snappy Brazilian Rainbow Boa
foggyimage wrote in snakecommunity
Hey guys! I have posted here before but I am always looking for new tips! I rescued a BRB on July 30th. She was in horrible conditions: no heat at all, bad previous shed, no humidity (I live in CO so she had a constant 30% for who knows how long). She had been abandoned and had not been fed for atleast two weeks. On the up side, she seemed very nice, quiet, and calm. I gave her a decent meal and a 80+ humidity and two heat sources as soon as I took her home. She has all of a sudden become seriously snappy. She tagged my shoulder (yes she just slithered up my arm and attacked the back of my shoulder??!!) and  she continues to be in strike position and snaps at me every time I try to move her, touch her, feed her, etc. I admit I am a jumpy person and I think she feeds off my fear. When she jumps, I jump back as well (horrible habit I know!!) I am trying to handle her 20 minutes each day and I DO feed her outside of her tank. I am just wondering if she might grow out of this attitude because I do not know her age. She is about 5ft and I am not really a "yea lets keep a mean snake" kind of person. Do you guys have any suggestions to calm her back down (it was suggested as soon as she was feeling better that she decided she had enough energy to be scared of me) or to make her behave a little better? I understand BRB's are not as calm as any RTB but I had high hopes that I could provide a great forever home for her. Just for reference she is not my first. I owned a Corn snake and I currently own a RTB.

Here's a pic just to get a good visual of her! Just fyi, this behave has just been for the last week. I do not know what I have been doing differently!



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From what you describe, probably the most effective thing you can do is work on being calm when you need to handle her, smooth, purposeful and nonthreatening in your movements, and maybe patience. If they've been in a nasty situation, they might be very defensive for a while. give 'em time, they may calm down. They've just had a big change in their environment, give them some time left alone as much as you can for a week or two and see what happens.

it sounds like she's getting healthier. For now, maybe long sleeves and gloves might be a good idea when you need to handle her.

good luck.

Pretty much what sirfox said. It's only been one month since you got her, and she has an unknown number of prior months of poor husbandry to work through. If you've been handling her since the day you got her, she wouldn't have had time to calm down and adjust to her new awesome housing before trying to adjust to you, too. She may not have been handled much or well in her previous home and now that she's feeling better, she feels that she can defend herself against what is to her an unwelcome experience.

Perhaps just let her chill for a while and then start the handling process as you would with a baby snake--let her get used to just your hand in the tank, then closer, then touching her, then picking her up in the tank, then outside the tank, etc. 20 minutes at a go may also be too much for her right now, maybe try one or two minutes in a session.
This will probably also help your own anxieties about handling her ;). And yes, if you're uncomfortable handling her, she will definitely know and she'll be scared too.

Keep us posted :}.

Slightly lower humidity is probably better long-term. My fiancee kept his around 65%. Too much can contribute to URI and fungal infection.

As for the bitey-ness, when humans are nervous, it's often interpreted (by more animals than just snakes) as threatening behavior. If you're jumpy, she will be too. So, take it slow, and be confident. It might be best for her to be totally hands off for a few weeks (2 at least) except the necessary cleaning and feeding to give her more time to adjust. That said, if you are bitten, it'll hurt (they have 100 or 120 teeth) but sometimes with rescues, we just have to take a bite. She'll either settle down, or she won't.

Good luck! These rescue situations aren't easy.

It's possible she is a Peruvian. I am not sure but in today's society, a lot of things are cross bred so you can not tell the real difference anyway. Personally, I prefer to think she is a Brazilian just because they are a higher orange which I think is gorgeous :)

Thanks guys. This is helpful! Yes I left her alone for the first week lol but she is just so pretty that I wanted to take her out the second week. I have probably only actually handled her five times since I have gotten her but I will definitely try leaving her alone for a few more weeks (just take her out to feed her). I will keep you guys posted (btw she just had a really great shed so I am very proud :) ) I'm not sure about the humidity thing because everyone keeps their snakes differently. Some sites say 90% and some say 50%. A general consensus is pretty rare when your keeping tropical reptiles lol!

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