Superior Snakes!

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Teya Shook, communications department

When you look up the word “Pets” on google what do you see? I see many animals, such as fish, rats, dogs, birds, and cats; however, there’s one animal that I don’t see any pictures of. In this article, I’m going to write about a pet that’s equally cute, a pet that doesn’t get enough credit, lets talk about snakes!

Ball pythons are the most common breed of snake kept as pets, they average 4-5 feet in length and are extremely docile. Ball pythons get their name from an action they do when they feel threatened, they curl up in a tight ball with their head in the center of their body.  Ball pythons come in MANY morphs, (snake morphs are different types of colors and patterns) my favorites being the Blue-Eyed Leucistic and the Piebald.  I’m going to write about Ball pythons because I know the most about them and only have experience with snakes of their size.

First, ball pythons don’t bite often, they only bite for two reasons, however, there are some common situations where they might bite you. Ball pythons Ideally only bite for defense and to kill prey, though ball pythons might bite when they are young and learning that you are a friend and not food. If they are held improperly or grabbed quickly, this could startle them and result in a bite as well. Most snakes don’t like being held or touched when digesting meals or shedding, and they might bite if you have recently held prey and still smell like it. I have personally never been bitten by a snake, but I do know people who have. Most people describe the feeling as a stinging or no pain at all, one person said “My wounds were equivalent to paper cuts, they were small, long, not very deep but they stung.” another saying, “It was more of a shock than anything because I didn’t expect it. I think a bee sting or a shot from the doctor hurt a little more. His teeth were so sharp and short that I didn’t really feel anything. I guess it’s like getting a small cut and then noticing it later than it occurred.”

Snakes are always emotionally available and lots of people find them soothing. What I mean by emotionally available is they’re always going to be there for you when you need someone to talk to, when your friends can’t talk you’ll have a cute snake to keep you company. You might not know this but snakes are great huggers, now, of course, I don’t mean they wrap their arms around you and give you big hugs; snakes do a thing called constricting, when snakes constrict they tighten their bodies around things, like prey. I know it might seem scary; however, I think it’s like a hug, it gives off the same effect and it feels quite similar too. Who doesn’t want a tight hug when they’re stressed? I just discovered this recently, but in 2018 a thing called snake therapy had a spike in popularity, snake therapy is where you take large snakes and they slither over you, it is said to relieve stress, migraines, and even some minor illnesses. 

Snakes don’t eat often, juveniles or young snakes eat once a week and adults eat once every one-two weeks. Other animals need to be fed once a day or even a couple of times a day. With dogs, you need to haul a giant bag of dog food to the cashier, with snakes you can grab 5 frozen mice and it could potentially last you 10 weeks. I don’t know if it’s just me but I have a hard time remembering things that I do every day, even simple things like making my bed, I find it a lot easier to remember things I have to do once a week like cleaning my fish tank, and bathing my dogs, therefore feeding a snake would be easy for me to remember. Snakes are way cheaper to feed than dogs, and they don’t need as much attention. Snakes will leave you alone if you need space, while dogs or cats like to continue bothering you.

I think that snakes are the best pet because they’re cheaper to feed, they don’t bite, and they’re very soothing animals. We’ve come a long way in the reptile industry and reptiles are going to continue to warm up the hearts of humans everywhere as the industry grows. I hope that this article gave you a glimpse into the reptile world so you can appreciate snakes as much as I do. Stay safe BTMS!

 

Citations:

Silver, Natalle. “Medical Information and Health Advice You Can Trust.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 5 June 2005, www.healthline.com/health/snake-bites#coral-snakes. 

Silver, Natalle. “Medical Information and Health Advice You Can Trust.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 5 June 2005, www.healthline.com/health/snake-bites#coral-snakes.