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How to Take a Snake out of a Container

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Most pet snakes will react calmly when picked up correctly, but improper technique can frighten your snake. Besides biting, a frightened snake may expel foul-smelling musk or defecate on you. Make taking your snake out of a container stress-free for both of you.


In general, the goal is to support your snake without unnecessarily restraining him. Never grab him behind the head. If you have a small pet snake, gently scoop the snake up at mid-body, remove him from his holding container and place him in your other hand, which you should hold flat with your palm facing up. Lift larger snakes in the same manner as small snakes, but use both hands to support the head and tail end of your pet. In the interest of safety, don't lift or handle a snake longer than 8 feet without a partner.


It can be helpful to use a snake hook or small piece of bent wire to lift a snake. Because it's not warm like your hand, the hook or wire will not overstimulate or frighten a small specimen. Gently slide the hook under your snake at mid-body and lift him into your hand -- don't leave your snake dangling from the hook for very long. Use the hook and a hand to lift a larger snake.