Indiana Jones says, "Snakes? Why does it have to be snakes?" and it's clear from his tone that he is not a happy camper at the prospect of repelling down into an Egyptian tomb crawling with snakes.
In contrast, when I hear about snakes or have the chance to see one, I'm giddy with glee. Snakes! Where? I wanna see them!!!!
Which brings us to Denver the ball python. Denver is part of my personal menagerie. He's what's known as a morph in the ball python world, which means his coloring is not standard. Denver is a Mojave morph--he is more brown and tan in coloration rather than the gold and brown of a standard ball python. And he's a sweetie pie.
Ball Pythons are relatively small pythons, growing up to six feet in length. That may sound long, but in the snake world it's not. My last snake was a speckled Kingsnake and he lived with me for almost seventeen years and was six feet in length. Snakes tend to stay coiled up most of the time and can manuever themselves into tiny hiding places. They're wonderful pets for the right people and are quiet, clean, docile, and do not cause allergies. Nature has designed them to eat only once a week or even every two weeks. It's actually rather common for many snakes to not feed for months, especially during the winter.
Some common misconceptions about snakes:
* they're slimy . . . Nope, snakes are not slimy.
* they're venomous . . . some species of snakes ARE venomous, but these are not the ones people breed and keep as pets. Most snakes are non-venomous.
* a snake doesn't need a special environment in captivity . . . actually, they do. Snakes are cold-blooded and must warm themselves from an external source to digest food. They need plenty of space, clean water, external heat, proper lighting, proper cage substrate, a cool area and a warm area, proper humidity levels, and branches to climb and places to hide. They also need interaction with their humans for mental and physical stimulation. The photo above is only showing about a third of Denver's habitat.
* snakes are evil . . . I'm not going to get into a religious debate, but snakes are no more evil than any other animal that is exercising its biological imperative to live and survive. Really, man is the only animal that has shown himself to be capable of evil.
And there ya have it. Everything you wanted to know about Denver the Ball Python in a nutshell.