Traci brought home Two pets. She got two ball pythons on May 23rd. As you may know, she is a Junior Curator (JC) at the Oklahoma City Zoo. One of her favorite parts of the zoo is the herpitarium. She works hard at her goal to become a Veterinarian. She has wanted to be a vet since she was a little girl. I’m proud of her for going for what she wants and figuring out how to do it.
The JC program is a chance for high school students in Oklahoma to work with and learn things about animals. JC’s get to schedule their own hours of work and get to work in any area at the zoo. Her zoo year is almost over and is excited to reapply for next year to become a returning JC. If she gets chosen to return, she will get to work in giraffes, antelope, pachyderm, and with the vets at the zoo. Currently, she can work in upper and lower aquaticus, children zoo, birds, over wintering, herpitarium, island life, commissary and education.
Traci got her new pets from Bob Clark. You may have seen Bob Clark on Latenight with David Letterman. She got a boy and a girl adult python. They are both are a little over 3ft long. The boy’s name is Venom and the girl’s name is Itty Bitty. They are kept in the same tank and who knows, maybe we’ll get baby ball pythons. Traci bought these snakes on her own with her own money.
If you are interested in snakes and want to have one as a pet, you will need to know its needs. I have my ball pythons in a 20 gal glass tank for breeding. PetCo has a good herp area in their store where you can look at snakes, lizards, and turtles as well.
Before you buy a snake you should know how long they can get, what they eat, at what age of they are life, and even how long they can live. At pet stores, they sell from corn snakes and ball pythons to red tail boas and reticulated pythons. Ball pythons only grow to be 3-6ft long but their relative the reticulated pythons is the largest snake in the world they grow to be 25-30ft long. So you should defiantly look up what your getting. If you would like to get a ball python they are a great beginners choice. You should always ask to handle the snake you are looking at before you buy it, because not all snakes are ok with handling but you can always gradually work your snake in to being ok with handling.
A 20 gal tank is a good size for a adult python. The temp for a ball python should be 85-90*F in the day and can drop to 80*F at night. Snakes are cold blooded and love warmth. For a heat source a side/bottom heating pad is a good one or a clamp lamp with a special UV bulb, which you can buy at a good pet store. For substrate, I would use newspaper or aspen snake bedding. Snakes also need a hide box and a water bowl which you can also buy at a pet store. You can make a nice hide box out of a small cardboard box, if you need to. I have the log looking one which they can enter from either side.
Now, for the food, if you don’t like the fact that snakes eat mice, rats, and eve gerbils then a snake might not be for you. When feeding your snake you will want to put it in a different area like a nice big tub. This is for your safety of getting bit by your snake. If you don’t care for handling your snake just do it in their tank, unless you have more that one per tank. Putting the snake in another area is good because if you feed it in it’s tank then if you want to reach in to handle it or just take it out to clean, its cage, then it might bite you thinking it’s food. Also, if you have two snakes you will want to feed the at the same time but different containers so they won’t fight over food. I do not like to feed live food to my snakes because the rat or mouse can cause a injury but if you want to feed them live food then you must watch your snake and food closely because it has been known that the rat or mouse can kill the snake.
If have any question there are many good sites on the web or you can e-mail me at Traci at Grennan dot com. I hope you enjoy your new pet!
Below left is Venom. They don’t like to be stared at and will threaten you if you do it long enough. Middle is Itty Bitty. Left is Both of her snakes Venom on the left and Itty Bitty on the right.