Common Names:Ball python
Ball Python as it is known in the USA, as one of the most recommended for the beginning herpetologist (someone who studies reptiles and amphibians). This species is an excellent choice for a number of reasons including small adult size, very long lived (28 years plus), gentle, beautiful and has simple habitat and feeding requirements. These traits are most applicable for captive bred BABY ball pythons. The snake's gentleness, beauty, ease of care and small adult size all add up to this species being a preferred animal for the beginner. In fact, One could say that the ball python is the best choice for the beginning snake handler and the snake handler's parents!
Africa, Savannah Grasslands, Open Forests
A standard 20 gallon long aquarium, a screen top, an UNDERTANK heat pad (NO heat rocks, PLEASE!) secured to one end of the underside of the tank, suitable substrate Zoo Med Forest floor... (NO pine or cedar shavings) a hide box and a CLEAN water bowl large enough that the snake may soak, at all times. A thermometer is also very helpful for monitoring the cage environment. Place the hide box on or near the heated end and the snake will spend most of its daytime hours there. Nighttime is when your snake will be most active.
75 degrees Fahrenheit at the cool end and below 85 degrees Fahrenheit at the heated end
Give your new baby a few days to acclimate to the new cage and then introduce a small live mouse (preferably just weaned as this is the ideal size) when the snake is in its hide box and watch closely. Chances are the snake will sense the food and wait for it to pass the entrance of its lair. When it does it will strike and coil around the mouse and continue squeezing until the moue has suffocated. Luckily, this is a very short time, usually less than 1 minute or so.
Feed once a week on the same day if possible.
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