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Ball Pythons (continued)

(Python Regius)


Ball Python Snake

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Humidity and Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are native to very warm, but not hot, dry areas in Africa. Many people make the mistake of trying to keep them in a too humid overall environment, using damp sphagnum moss or misting them frequently throughout the day. The problem with this is that keeping the overall environment damp leads to conditions such as blister disease where in the skin, usually of the belly, becomes covered with blisters, leading to bacterial infections of the skin, which in turn leads to overall health problems.

In fact, all a ball python needs is an area within its dry enclosure to which to retreat when it requires higher humidity. One way to accomplish this is to provide a water bowl large enough for the snake to soak in when it wants. Depending on the ambient room (and thus enclosure) humidity, this may be enough, or may be enough during part of the year. Another good, safe option for a ball python is a humidity retreat box.

Handling your new snake

After giving your Ball a couple of days to settle in, begin picking it up and handling it gently. It may move away from you, and may threaten you by lashing it's tail and hissing; don't be put off - it is usually just a bluff, and snakes, like most reptiles, are very good at bluffing! Be gentle but persistent. Daily contact with each other will begin to establish a level of trust and confidence between you and your snake. When it is comfortable with you, you can begin taking it around the house. Don't get over-confident! Given a chance and close proximity to seat cushions, your Ball will make a run (well, a slither) for it, easing down between the cushions and from there, to points possibly unknown. Always be gentle, and try to avoid sudden movements. If the snake wraps around your arm or neck, you can unwind it by gently grasping it's tail and gently unwrapping it from around your neck or arm - do not try to unwrap it by moving the head. Some snakes are a bit sensitive about being handled soon after they have eaten. If you feed your snake out of it's enclosure, go ahead and replace it back into it's enclosure after it has finished eating. Then leave it be for a couple of days. As the snake gets more comfortable with you, it will be less nervous and less likely to give you back your mouse.

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Traveling With Your Snake
Snakes For Dummies

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