I've just had a pretty upsetting incident with my corn snake.

I've owned him about a year, and he hatched about six months before I got him.
For the entire time I've owned him, he has been as tame as can be. If he was ever afraid, he simply tried to get away, but he has never, ever* even *attempted to strike at anything besides a frozen-thawed mouse.
=85
Tonight I took him out of his cage to handle him a bit. I had been handling him about 10=9615 minutes, when he was crawling off of me onto the floor, which is not unusual. So, I obviously needed to pick him back up before he disappeared under some debris in my room. While reaching for him with one hand, the other hand pushed a box that was on my floor, because it was in my way. The box was about 1.5=962 feet from the snake. Suddenly, the snake tensed up into striking position. Again, never ever seen him do this unless he was being fed (and I have a separate container for feeding). Then he began striking at absolutely any movement! I was completely surprised.
I decided that he was obviously too stressed to stay outside his cage any longer, so there was an empty shoebox that I sometimes keep him inside when I want to carry him around the house. I placed the shoebox next to him, with him striking at the movement as I did so. A second later, he seemed to recognize the shoebox's smell, and started exploring its outsides, but he was not entering it. So I got a nearby hanger=97he struck again, even though my reaching for the hanger was nowhere NEAR him=97and attempted to help him into the shoebox.

He continued to strike, and was now rattling his tail for much of the time. Eventually I managed to get him into the shoebox using the hanger, but not before he had escaped into a pile of debris in my room. I quickly uncovered him because the last thing I wanted was for him to be lost in my house (which thankfully did not happen).

Starting from when he first started striking to when I finally got him into the shoebox must have been at least 15=9620 minutes! Towards the end of the incident his posture continued to get more aggressive, raising his bent S-shaped neck off the ground to make himself appear larger.
At that point I was absolutely puzzled by this behavior and oddly, even though I know he couldn't hurt me even if I got bit, I found myself retreating from his strikes because I was so absolutely unused to having the snake strike at *me*.
Once back in his cage, he stopped striking at movement=85but he was still clearly tensed, and moved only in short, twitchy bursts. I waited a few minutes to see if he would return to his hide, but he just sat motionless, or twitched away from me if I moved.

At the time this happened my room had low lighting and was admittedly pretty warm. However, he's been in my room many times before, without incident.
Do you know what could possibly have explained this? What should I do if it continues?
a natural reaction, he just though you was a predetor...

I've just had a pretty upsetting incident with my corn snake.

I've owned him about a year, and he hatched about six months before I got him.
For the entire time I've owned him, he has been as tame as can be. If he was ever afraid, he simply tried to get away, but he has never, ever* even *attempted to strike at anything besides a frozen-thawed mouse.
.
Tonight I took him out of his cage to handle him a bit. I had been handling him about 10-15 minutes, when he was crawling off of me onto the floor, which is not unusual. So, I obviously needed to pick him back up before he disappeared under some debris in my room. While reaching for him with one hand, the other hand pushed a box that was on my floor, because it was in my way. The box was about 1.5-2 feet from the snake. Suddenly, the snake tensed up into striking position. Again, never ever seen him do this unless he was being fed (and I have a separate container for feeding). Then he began striking at absolutely any movement! I was completely surprised.
I decided that he was obviously too stressed to stay outside his cage any longer, so there was an empty shoebox that I sometimes keep him inside when I want to carry him around the house. I placed the shoebox next to him, with him striking at the movement as I did so. A second later, he seemed to recognize the shoebox's smell, and started exploring its outsides, but he was not entering it. So I got a nearby hanger-he struck again, even though my reaching for the hanger was nowhere NEAR him-and attempted to help him into the shoebox.

He continued to strike, and was now rattling his tail for much of the time. Eventually I managed to get him into the shoebox using the hanger, but not before he had escaped into a pile of debris in my room. I quickly uncovered him because the last thing I wanted was for him to be lost in my house (which thankfully did not happen).

Starting from when he first started striking to when I finally got him into the shoebox must have been at least 15-20 minutes! Towards the end of the incident his posture continued to get more aggressive, raising his bent S-shaped neck off the ground to make himself appear larger.
At that point I was absolutely puzzled by this behavior and oddly, even though I know he couldn't hurt me even if I got bit, I found myself retreating from his strikes because I was so absolutely unused to having the snake strike at *me*.
Once back in his cage, he stopped striking at movement.but he was still clearly tensed, and moved only in short, twitchy bursts. I waited a few minutes to see if he would return to his hide, but he just sat motionless, or twitched away from me if I moved.

At the time this happened my room had low lighting and was admittedly pretty warm. However, he's been in my room many times before, without incident.
Do you know what could possibly have explained this? What should I do if it continues?
While reaching for him with one hand, the other hand pushed a box that was on my floor, because it was in my way.

I agree with Jules.
The movement with the box was part of it, but there might also have been a part that you just can't sense. There might have been a smell that helped to set off the snake.

Doug Herr
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