I'm talking about Python regius, the royal python, or ball python as it's commonly called.
|Image from Wikipedia|
The snake I got to play with was a youngling, only about a foot and a half long. This was the first time I've actually held a snake on my own and it was amazing. You can really feel the power in it, like a great spring, ready to strike. But I also get the feeling that it was totally safe with it in my hand, and on my arm. I can really say that I respect this animal for being something much more than just an attractive creature; it's a predator. I was informed by the girl at Stacey's (going to have to learn her name) that they don't require as much room as some people would think, if you are the type of person to let it out of the tank often enough. That's not to say some caring, passionate people don't go all out on their pythons. I would honestly like to have a setup of about five feet long by three or four feet up; these snakes are terrestrial, but do like climbing up in the lower branches from time to time.
|Image from Amuzani's forumpost on http://www.albertareptilesociety.org|
The setup itself is straightforward; two hides, a heat source, a light source, a watering source big enough to soak in, a dry substrate, and as much enrichment as you can provide, as well as all the little bits and bobs that come with tanks.
here). It shows all the basic needs for your python. The tank sounds fairly easy to control, and certainly no more difficult than a crested gecko. From what I've gathered so far, I could use a similar mix of substrate as the one I mixed for my tropical terrarium, with maybe some sand in place of the tree fern; something to make it a little more arid than what I currently use it for. The girl at Stacey's does caution that these inquisitive explorers are escape artists and to watch for any possible way out of the enclosure. I like the idea of the wading pool. It will definitely make controlling humidity less of a critical task. Any additional moisture can be taken at the snake's leisure. Time to break out the foam and grout; we're making a pool! Well, one day.
|Image from http://www.pet-care-portal.com|
I could go on and on about this species, like how they're revered as earth spirits in their native homeland, and seen as good omens and all sorts of stuff, but I'll just cut it off here. Next post, I'm thinking I need to start looking into actual construction. I'm getting less and less impressed with commercial terrariums as a whole.