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The hardest question for me to answer in this world is always the "Tell us all about you" question. The best way for me to answer is that "I am composed of contradictions and subject to change without notice."

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2.06.2006

Snakes make great pets.....

I have had many pets in my life, but my pet snake is by far the best pet I have ever had. I will start at the beginning. I rescued him from a home where he had been purchased at some earlier point for a child to care for, but he been neglected and abandoned once the novelty of owning a snake had worn off (typical with children and pets). When I brought him home, I didn’t have any intentions of keeping him – just getting him healthy.

At this point I begin my search for a good home where he would be well cared for. Talking to my very extensive network of animal rescuers proved fruitless as no one knew of anyone who would take in a snake. Speaking to the pet shops was worthless since they didn’t really care who they sold the animals to and I did. Then, I started talking to my friends. The reactions that I received from my friends were unsettling. A majority of my friends were under the impression that this animal would kill me in my sleep. A few of my friends thought it was pretty cool and wanted to come and visit him, but they didn’t want to keep him. Others thought that they would not be coming over to visit me at my house for awhile. Not one of them had a solution to my predicament. So I started calling the zoos. The zoos had great information on what to feed him and how to care for him. They did not; however, have any need to take in another reptile, but “thank you very much for calling.” With that last round of phone calls it seemed decided that I was to now own a snake.

I had learned a great deal of information about snakes at this point. The first piece of information was that the snake was a male, ball python (also known as a royal python). As far as snakes go, they are one of the best because the chance of being bit is less than with other snakes. Captive bred ball pythons are very passive reptiles that live anywhere from 20-30 years in captivity. He was about 3 years old - he is now about 13 years old. He is about 4 feet long and eats live rats one to four times a month. I feed him a small rat weekly in the summer and a large rat monthly in the winter and medium rats every other week in the spring and fall. He can be kept in a humid tank with a heat lamp for warmth and a bowl of fresh water to drink. He will shed his skin several times a year and it helps to have a good soak in warm water right around shedding time to help him loosen his old skin. His tank needs to be cleaned after he sheds or poops. You need to wash your hands after handling all reptiles to avoid spreading salmonella. And that’s it. Compared to owning a cat or a dog that is a walk in the park.

When I go on vacation for a week I don’t have to find anyone to check on my snake. I haven’t ever had to take him to the vet since he doesn’t need any shots or check-ups. He doesn’t make noise or keep anyone awake at night. He never has accidents on the carpet. He never gets into the trash. I do my very best to take care of him, but I have made mistakes at his care over the years and he has thrived. My conclusion to all of this is that snakes really do make the best pets. What do you think?
Belhoste: Snakes make great pets..... » Composed of contradictions and subject to change without notice

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