Pet pythons

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Updated: 4/17/2007 1:08 pm
Pythons are the world's largest snakes. An adult can grow to be 30 feet long. A more practical pet would be one of the smaller species. A ball python is named for the fact that it'll curl itself into a ball when it's nervous. It only gets to be four or five feet long and makes a good pet. Choose one that was bred in captivity, rather than caught in the wild. This way, it might not suffer from the internal parasites that are common among wild snakes. Pick an enclosure designed especially for snakes; a 30-gallon glass tank with a hinged wire top is a good choice. For easy-care bedding, get a few pieces of Astroturf cut to fit the tank. When one gets dirty, clean it with a dilute bleach solution, rinse, and let it dry. Pythons are nocturnal, so give your pet a place to curl up and hide during the daytime. A cardboard box with an entry hole cut in one end works fine, but your python tank will look more authentic if you get a hollow half-log from the snake supply store. Finally, pythons are tropical creatures, so temperature control is essential. The ideal temperature is around 85 degrees during the day and not below 75 at night. Your pet supply will be able to recommend a suitable heater. You don't have to feed a python often, and yours might not eat for a few weeks while it gets used to its new home. The normal diet for pet pythons is usually mice, which you can buy frozen. So along with getting used to your new pet, you'd better get ready to see a bag of mousicles (MOUSE-ickles) next to the T-V dinners.
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