Lost Reptiles

Snakes and Lizards

Snakes and Lizards can be very good escape artists. Start your search near the vivarium and go from there.

 

Places to look first:

Look inside any boxes and bags you have around the house, including tissue boxes, backpacks, boots, shoes and purses

Strip bare any bedding including sheets and pillowcases

Check all plumbing including the toilet

Behind the cooker and fridge along as well as baseboards in the kitchen

Look inside cabinets, drawers, shelves, dressers, and bookcases (check behind, in, and under any items in these places)

Remove cushions from sofas and chairs, and check down the sides and back of the furniture

Check inside and near heating and ventilation ducts

Check if any windows or doors ars open

Inside computer towers and game consoles

More advice:

  • Look for your reptile when they are usually most active. You want your reptile to be comfortable enough to come out, so remove anything that can scare it off. This would include loud noises and other pets.

  • Put the vivarium in the middle of the room. Make sure it's open, and possibly place your reptile's favourite treat or food around and in the tank. 

  • Place foil or crumpled paper around the room, between doorways, along with the walls and in possible hiding places. That will help you hear the reptile moving around. 

  • Put flour along with the baseboards, in thresholds, and anywhere the reptile might be travelling. That will help you track his/her movements. Focus your search in the area where the flour was disturbed.

  • Set a webcam up to record any motion.  

  • Leave some food out for the snake to catch its smell. It can even be a live mouse or rat in a small cage. 

  • Distribute poster through letterboxes, shops and lampposts (with the council's permission) Include a photo and do not publish your address details.

Finding your reptile requires a lot of patience and dedication. Don't get frustrated and don't lose hope if you don't find your companion at once. Some people have reported that their snakes were found over a year later. Keep searching, keep leaving some food and water out.

Tortoise

As soon as the absence is discovered search immediate areas extensively.

If there is a pond in your area always check this option sooner rather than later as tortoises can sometimes be saved from falling in water

Follow the edges of paths or hedges as tortoises tend to follow edges instead of tackling open spaces

Get down on your hands and knees and comb the undergrowth to check your tortoise has not dug down - look for loose soil and other clues of disturbance

Burrowing can happen, especially when the weather has been very cool or very warm. Look around and under rocks and vegetation; anywhere the tortoise may have burrowed down out of sight

Look where there are splashes of sunshine as tortoises are likely to pause in such spots. If you know the directions your tortoise tends to head in then follow these first!

Look for low lying plants that have nibble marks on as a tortoise's V-shaped bite is obvious compared to rabbits or such.

Once initial searches within the first day have passed then check again the next day in the early morning as this is when the tortoise will be sunbathing to raise their temps for the day. Look for sunny spots in your area. Ask friends and family to help search a wider area than the immediate enclosure or garden. 

Tortoises lost in a house will normally seek out a dark corner with areas of cover e.g. underneath something. So carefully inspect under furniture and appliances, and any place where the tortoise could have squeezed through.

This fantastic advice was provided to us by www.tortoiseclub.org

 

Important contacts for all reptiles  

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Exotic Pet Refuge

07706 999 838 or (01778) 345 923

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RSPCA

0300 1234 999

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Woodgreen Animal Shelter

0300 303 9333

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