Male Pos Super Mandarin Ball Python For Sale
One of the most commonly kept snakes is the Mandarin Ball Python For Sale (Python regius), otherwise known as the royal python. The size, demeanor, and cost of ball pythons make them very popular pets. Veterinary technicians should be knowledgeable about ball python care, including proper husbandry and nutrition, so they can help educate their clients about these reptiles. Found in the grasslands of central and western Africa, ball pythons are primarily terrestrial snakes. However, they are also commonly found in trees.1 The ball python is a docile snake, preferring to roll into a ball at the first sign of danger (hence its name). These snakes are extremely unlikely to bite, but they do possess the “fight-or-flight” response, and if provoked, they strike-bite and let go, resulting in multiple superficial lacerations. The ball python holds the record for the longest-lived snake at 47 years, recorded at the Philadelphia Zoo.1 Typical life spans in captivity range from 20 to 30 years,1 making these snakes a serious responsibility and not an impulse purchase. Because these snakes are grassland natives, the humidity in the tank should not be extremely high; providing a medium-sized dog dish filled half to three-fourths full with water should keep the humidity at a reasonable level. Humidity should be monitored using a hygrometer placed in the cage. Humidity is important and should range between 60% and 65% when the snake is shedding and around 50% when it is not. Humidity can be increased by misting the snake daily with water using a spray bottle. An alternative way of providing a range of humidity is by supplying a shedding box for the python to seek out when it requires a higher level of humidity. A shedding box should have two entries, and moist sphagnum moss should line the bottom. The snake may soak in the water dish just before shedding. (Some snakes may soak more often, even daily.) To aid shedding, the humidity may be increased simply by placing the water dish under a heat lamp. Other than the need for heat, no special lighting is required. (Some people still recommend using an ultraviolet B bulb as part of the enclosure, although this is controversial.) Enclosure photoperiods matching those found in nature promote more natural physiologic responses. Younger ball pythons should be offered food every 5 to 7 days; adults should be offered food every 7 to 10 days.1 The body girth of the prey animal should be equal to the thickest girth of the snake. Prey items include mice, rats, and gerbils in different life stages, from day-old animals (pinkies) to adults. Feeding dead prey is ideal because it eliminates the risk of prey trauma to the snake and prolonged stress on the prey. However, because baby ball pythons have a timid strike response, feeding live prey may be the only way to entice them. Prey can be purchased frozen and then thawed and served at body temperature (warmed under a heat lamp) or killed by cervical dislocation just before giving it to the snake.