Posts Tagged ‘boa constrictors’

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Snakes certainly are not your typical everyday family pet, but with the popularity of the reptile trade snakes are becoming more and more common in households due to their easy to care for nature and the fact they are hypoallergenic. And if you are a snake lover such as myself, once you make the first snake purchase you just get addicted. But with snake ownership comes many snake questions from those who simply do not understand snakes. I figured I would answer the top 10 questions or comments I frequently get.

 

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  1. ARE YOU CRAZY? I have been “Crazy” for a long time and crazy before I even got my very first snake. Are snake owners crazy for owning snakes? Well that’s a tough one to answer…I suppose we are unique and perhaps a little different because our family pet of choice is a slithering reptile but in fairness I could say the same to poodle owners or Chihuahua owners or people who own those cats that only like their owner and will tear a visitor to sheds should they try to pet them. So my answer is yes I am a little crazy but for more reasons than owning snakes.

2.ARE THEY LEGAL? In most places yes, in my township I could own pretty much anything, in some other towns or provinces/states certain species may be illegal to keep. It all depends on municipal bylaws. There are reasons in each area as to why some snakes are banned (And yes some are actually because the law passer simply hates snakes)  some places have size restrictions or breed restrictions. It is very easy to find out if snakes are legal in your area.

3. Are snakes dangerous? Some yes, others definitely not. I have had more serious injuries from my cats than I have ever gotten from a snake. Certain criteria need to be met before a snake is considered a hazardous animal. Size, Temperament, venom. Venomous snakes are a given, yes people do own them and yes its dangerous, common sense can tell you why. There are certain breeds that have temperament issues and are more likely to attack than other species, however, it is still possible to own a specimen that is notorious for striking or coiling that happens to be a puppy dog snake. Size also determines risk, the bigger the snake the more damage it can do. Anything over 8 feet is strong enough to leave a nasty bite (Although the worse this does is cause mechanical wounds and Ive never heard of anyone bleeding to death from a bite) and a large snake is strong enough to coil around an adult human and knock them out or strangle them. Once a snake gets that large there are certain safety measures to always keep in mind, a 2 person rule (Supervision while handling or feeding) and a proper escape proof enclosure. Escapes often happen do to negligence. Can people still enjoy owning a large snake? Absolutely so long as they follow responsible pet ownership…the same rule applies to dog owners.

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4. Can a snake Eat a person? After arguing with many people because they were told or they read a false article on the internet (Because the internet never lies) NO snakes do not eat people! Yes I have been asked if my ball python can eat me. Yes I have been told by many that if a snake stretches out beside you they are sizing you up…FALSE FALSE FALSE! Snakes stretch beside people because humans are warm, snakes like warm. Snakes DO NOT size up their prey…they see, they smell they strike plain and simple. If you smell like a rat you could get bitten but the snake will soon learn that you are not in fact their lunch.

5. Can a snake eat my cat? Can my snakes eat my cats? no. Can a Burmese python eat a cat? Yes. Don’t place cats in Python enclosures? Even if a snake CAN eat a cat they;d need to be desperate to want to eat a cat, a well fed snake is not going to go after something that doesn’t smell like their prey. Is there still a risk? There is and yes here are stories of cats and small dogs getting eaten by large snakes. Right now my cats can do more damage to my snakes than my snakes can do to the cats. Being responsible I obviously don’t place my cats in their enclosures.

 

6. Can a snake Kill a person? My snakes physically cant. (Other than cause a heart attack on someone who’s terrified) but as previously stated a venomous snake or a large snake can potentially kill a person. For the record there are more Dog related deaths than snake deaths ever recorded.

7. Won’t your snake choke you? Maybe if I let it? The only snake I own with any strength is a 5 foot long Crawl Cay boa constrictor which is a dwarf species. And even with his strength he is very easy to pry off myself. I do let all my snakes wrap around my shoulders because I know they are not strong enough to murder me.

 

8. Do your snakes try to bite you? Never been bitten by any of my snakes but I have been bitten by other snakes and honestly, its like getting scratched by a cat…except cats hurt more. There is actually more concern for a snake if they are biting and not letting go, if they are pried off a person their teeth can get damaged. Most snakes, however, strike due to defense or accident (Thinking you are food) they will nip and quickly retreat. Your first reaction is usually shock “Did that snake just strike at me?” followed by little pin pricks that may bleed a little. But honestly if bites are a huge concern don’t own anything with teeth.

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9. Are snakes Slimey? No they are not slimy or slippery. They have scales which make them smooth to the touch but they do not feel like frogs or fish.

10. Do any of your snakes show aggression? Some have given off warnings of aggression but none have shown it. If a snake becomes irritated or scared they can show signs such as certain body movement or hissing. I have been peed on, I have been hissed at, I have had snakes get surprised and back off, I have been struck but not bitten. Could any of them ever act on aggression? Possibly, any animal can. Is it likely? Not really. I have still picked up a hissing snake, because I know where to grab them, I know what to expect and I know/am prepared for if they do bite. Most aggression comes from within an enclosure, some snakes have feeding responses that make them strike at anything that moves within their home. None of mine have strong feeding responses…I’m lucky if they decide to eat. The correct answer to this question is ANY animal can show or act on aggression be responsible with ALL animals.

CYIO0E6WcAAMjQl Thank you for reading, Hope you learned a few things about snakes. Encourage everyone to do research you never know, you may just fall in love with these magnificent creatures. Most fears are based off the unknown once someone is reassured its quite easy to over come a fear of these cool beasts. I too was once hesitant on handling snakes, I never got the chance to hold one until I was 18 years old and that was when I fell in love. I got my first snake, a Normal Ball Python when I was 26 years old. (I am now almost 29) and my collection has been growing since. Check out care sheets online to see how easy it is to care for beginner snake species you never know, a snake may be for you.

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So far it has been a super busy July.  And we are loving and making the most of our summer. 

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What better way to kick off July than with a Canada day celebration.  Took my daughter Aurora and my sister in Law to see some awesome local fireworks.  The firefighters of Norwood out did them selves yet again. 

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We went to eat at the Mandarin with family (above are some of the mandarins awesome koi  fish) we laid great grandma to rest in Uttica  Ontario and afterwards it was wonderful to spend time with family.  She would be very honoured that we all gathered together and we hope to plan many more family reunions in the future.  Life is short make the best of it. 

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We took Aurora to the zoo and then went to see the movie inside out.  Wonderful movie.  We of course had to kill 2 hours so we spent the last bit of daylight at the Peterborough zoo.  With hardly anyone there we got plenty of exercise on the large slide.  The goats were the ones to put on the big show this time as they attempted to reach the leaves on the tree

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The first week of July is always insane.  Our church kicks off every summer with VBS this year it was everest VBS and it was awesome.  150 kids and Jr.  Leaders packed our building along with countless volunteers.  Nick and I ran tech this year which was totally out of my comfort zone but God Provided,  he comforted,  he healed,  he forgave and he loves me forever HOLD  ON!  The kids were amazing such a wonderful group of kids.  VBS is an absolute blessing to be a part of. 

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After a long week at VBS… Actually it goes by way too fast…anyways after our long week of zero sleep Nick and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.  We spent half The Dy trying to figure out what to do… Finally we settled for a walk through the mall where I bought a batman car freshner woohoo.  We went thrift shopping then had a lovely dinner at East Side Mario’s and then we slept ad soon as we got home.  Ah wonderful sleeeeeep

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Oh and we went and saw Minions as a family too then had a lovely dinner and a beach evening.  We played some volleyball and guess what?  I still suck at sports who knew? 

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Oh and #DeadRaccoonTO happened.  I’m not in Toronto but Conrad the dead raccoon had a beautiful tribute.  Check out Conrad the Toronto raccoon it blew up social media and it brought tears to my eyes. 

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Tim Hortons released Reese cup donuts.  Good bye everyone’s diets and hello diabetes!  Drool. 

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World snake day was this month too.  I took the opportunity to handle all my snakes.  Yep all 6 of em.  And did some photo shoots.  Love my guys… And gal. 

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Spent a Saturday out fishing on sturgeon Lake in bobcaygeon.  Water was so calm and even though we only caught 3 fish and almost caught a muskie we had a blast.  I got over my fear of canoing out on open water and even started to enjoy riding all the waves made by the boats.  The sunset was phenomenal too. 

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And just recently I acquired a new snake.  I traded mad Eye my baby boa for a young spider pinstripe ball Python.  We named him Data.  He ate his first meal with us and is a sweet heart.  Excited to introduce him into our outreach program. 

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Speaking of outreach we did one this month too for havelock weird animal vbs.  The kids loved it.  Our snakes and guinea pig were a huge hit.  We are set up for another outreach in August.  Love educating kids on critters. 

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July isn’t over yet there’s a few days left but my goodness is this summer flying.  Now time to focus on getting together with friends and family and enjoy it while it lasts.  To be continued.