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Posted by jfmoore on May 12, 2003 at 18:03:01:
In Reply to: Considering a ball python for my 10-year-old... posted by Snakemother on May 12, 2003 at 16:29:23:
Hey Snakemother –
You’ll probably get lots of feedback. Let me assume that after weighing all the advice you decide to get a ball python for your young daughter. An adult “rescue” animal might not be a bad choice if you can be assured that it is healthy and feeding regularly. Otherwise, try to get a captive bred snake direct from a breeder who will talk to you about the particular animal and its parents.
Let me give you one tip to help you evaluate which individual to choose. When you first gently pick up ball pythons, you might observe these various behaviors: one snake stays practically straight as a stick with its body rigid; one slashes wildly from side to side in an attempt to escape; one balls up; one calmly crawls across your hand flicking its tongue, and when you extend another (warm) hand to let it continue crawling, it jerks its head back a little, then continues forward exploring its environment. Is there any doubt that you should choose the last example, all else being equal (you like the way it looks, it’s feeding well)? I would never say that the other ones might not turn out just fine. But I think if you intend to subject the animal to frequent handling, it makes sense to try to find one from the get-go that appears to have an easy-going disposition.
:I have kingsnakes and a boa myself, but the kingnsnake I got for my daughter hasn't worked out all that well. Kings are a bit too quick moving, and she's scared she'll drop it (it's now mine). My boa is the right speed and holds on great, but is getting too big for my petite daughter. This girl really wants a snake to call her own, and I've been considering getting a nice adult ball python from a rescue for her. But I first thought I'd get opinions here. I've heard about the wonderful temperment of ball pythons, so aren't worried about her getting bitten (she knows how to handle snakes properly, and I'll supervise), but I'm wondering if a ball python may be too shy for the handling we give our snakes. My vet has said that they are very shy, stress easily, and should be more of an observed snake than a handled one. We definitely want a snake we can handle alot, and don't want to get a ball python if they stress more easily than our others - we don't want to harm it. What do you folks think?
:Thanks in advance for your honest opinions! :)