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YIKES....please read!

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Posted by Rob Carmichael on September 22, 2002 at 10:29:36:

In Reply to: What we have in our classroom, works out fine....(more) posted by shannons on September 14, 2002 at 22:26:36:

I direct a very successful wildlife center that features many types of herps (and birds of prey).Although our focus is on Illinois native wildlife, we have an extensive collection of boas, pythons and even venomous herps that are used for various education programs and research. I have also been keeping a breeding bp's for over 30 years and have one of the oldest bp's in captivity. Keeping a bp in a glass tank with a screen top secured by weighted objects is NOT an acceptable way to secure a bp; especially in a school! Sooner or later, the bp will find a way to get out, or, someone could end up swiping your prized class pet. The screen top also allows a lot of heat to escape which could lead to respiratory problems if your class is cold. ALso, reptariums are TERRIBLE for bp's, their wide open construction allows too much heat and humidity to escape. Instead, you should consider a cage made specifically for reptiles such as a neodesha, vision, habitat systems, or even a custom built cage made out of melamine and glass. These cages can be properly locked while providing all of the needs of the snake. One last comment to people who use bark as a substrate. While it looks great, it can be lethal to a snake if ingested. Always be very careful during feeding to make sure that bark isn't ingested. I recommend placing a sheet of newspaper over the substrate and feed the snake, a frozen/thawed rodent of appropriate size, on top of the paper.

:Hi! Our school janitor recently had to give up his adult female ball python - she has been great so far in my eighth grade classroom. She has a 20 gallon aquarium (if you get one this big for a baby make sure it has lots of hiding places - a ball's habitat is natuarally small and confined - too much space makes them stressed.) She is housed on Repti-Bark to keep her humidity up. Ours only has a water dish - not one to soak in - but one large enough for the snake to curl up in is probably preferable. She has a screen top which we weight down to prevent escape - a cage lock would be better. Her hide-box is one of those cut in half hollow logs and she has a standard heating bulb on one side of the tank. We're kinda' new to this also, but let me know if you have any questions I can help you with...

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