Meet our resident Ball Python. The Ball Python came to us in 1999 after it was confiscated as an illegal pet. Currently, the Ball Python weighs just shy of 4lbs and is almost 4 ft. long. Ball Pythons are carnivorous predators native to Africa. They eat a variety of small rodents including mice and rats, depending on size of the prey and the snake. As their name suggests, the Ball Python is part of the Genus designation Python. It is a non-venomous snake which is part of the family of constrictors (meaning it strangles its prey to kill it). It gets its name from its defense mechanism, which is to curl up in a tight ball when frightened.
Ball Pythons are a smaller species of python, typically maxing out at about 4 feet long. They can typically ingest prey items as big in diameter as the thickest section of its body thanks to a detachable lower jaw enabling them to ingest items whole. Snakes utilize their highly developed sense of smell (the combination of their forked tongue, pits, and Jacobson’s organ) to “see” the environment around them in addition to their sharp eyesight. Snakes are quite the interesting animal, with many unique and specialized skills to survive in the world they live. They also require very specific care, so I urge anyone interested in having one as a pet to research their needs before you acquire a snake for a pet. Not providing the proper care can have some detrimental if not fatal results. Stop on out at the Wildlife Sanctuary anytime and visit our resident snakes!