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Oct 1, 2009

Shipping Serpents Safely

Two quick but important tips for safely shipping snakes and other reptiles.

We wanted to clear up two critical safety tips about reptile shipping that are rarely discussed. We’re here to fill that gap today! Read below and get informed!

1. ONE ANIMAL PER CONTAINER

Snakes are typically shipped in bags, but small ones ship well in deli cups. Little baby snakes should always be shipped in an appropriately sized deli cup. Regardless of your container, there should only be one animal inside. You can place multiple containers into a single shipping box, but each container should have only one animal. 

Prevent stress

Prevent bites (Lizards have been known to bite off tails or even whole legs!)

Prevent accidental crushing or smothering

Prevent one animal eating the other (a rare but genuine phenomenon)

If you are placing multiple containers in one box, bags should be placed in a single layer only, and never place a small bagged snake in with a much larger bagged snake. Shifting during the shipping process can cause accidental crushing or smothering. Deli cups stack nicely and can allow smaller snakes to be safely shipped in the same box with a larger bagged snake.

2. DO NOT FEED JUST BEFORE SHIPPING 

Snakes should be given a minimum of 72 hours to have digested their last meal before going into a shipping box. A full week is best. Lizards, tortoises, and other animals with faster metabolisms that might eat daily should be given at least 24 hours to digest their last meal before being shipped. 

Prevent regurgitation due to stress

Prevent digestion issues due to cool temperatures

Although no one can guarantee an animal won’t foul its shipping container during the trip, a carefully planned schedule of feeding in the days before a scheduled shipment can help reduce the chances or amount of waste that might occur. 

Even if these are familiar routines for your personal business, we hope this has been a valuable reminder of knowledge we should be passing on to those who may be new to shipping.