0

Reptils as pets: Snakes


By Jose V Griñan

Owning a snake as a pet obviously depends on the species (venomous or non-venomous), the size to which the reptile is expected to grow and the repercussions in terms of its feeding and maintenance.

It must be remembered that snakes are carnivorous and the bigger they get the harder they are to handle especially if you have other pets or small children in the home.

Apart from a few people who have a special interest in venomous snakes, the majority of pet snakes are pythons or non-venomous small snakes.

When it comes to pythons these can be broken down into types such as the Royal Python, the most docile, smallest and easiest to handle up to the largest piones molurus and the python reticulates which can grow to sizes in excess of five metres-long.

The last two groups vary in their level of aggressiveness and in the way they can be handled. These larger snakes are not always docile and they do have a painful bite and the power to constrict which they trend to do when they are handled.

Carnivorous reptiles, as their name indicates, have high protein diets. Their feed should live so that they maintain their hunting instincts. They can also be taught to eat meat that has been previously frozen.

The needs of each snake depend entirely on its size and feeding a 25 kilogramme python is far removed from feeding a 15 gram turtle.

Each snake has different requirements so varying the diet between live feed, tinned meat, dried food, pieces of liver, meat, fish and eggs is necessary.

Do not forget that the best food is the type they would find in their natural habitat such as all types of insects (worms and beetles) as well as seafood such as prawns.