Are Ball Pythons Dangerous? – Must Know’s
Are you thinking about buying a pet snake and want to which is best for you. Many people all over the world are scared of snakes, and it’s no wonder they have such a bad reputation for being dangerous. When ever snakes are documented or featured in films it’s rarely because of their cuteness. Usually they are featured being aggressive and can seem dangerous, but are ball pythons dangerous?
Ball pythons are not usually dangerous reptiles and they rarely attack. They are commonly very docile and relaxed tempered and spend most of their time resting and bathing in the sun. Ball pythons can become more aggressive when hungry, or through the breeding process, however if you are providing them with a staple diet, then you shouldn’t even experience this. Ball pythons can go a very long time without being fed. However, they are opportunistic eaters, so they will strike if they are hungry and miss interpret an object as food, for example your hand.
A tell tale sign which you should look out for that suggests your ball python is becoming agitated or aggressive is the stance it takes when you are near by. What I mean by this is your ball pythons body language. Commonly, when a ball python is about to strike it will coil itself up into a tiny ball. From its head down, you will see its body in a zigzag, ’S’ like figure. This is the stance a ball python takes before it’s about to strike. The ’S’ shaped body position gives a ball python the most force when striking. The power a ball python can build up from this stance means it can strike, and bite, before you even have the chance to move out the way.
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How too tame a dangerous Ball Python?
As you’re here, you most likely need some guidance on how to tame a dangerous ball python. Unfortunately for you, you are probably one of very few people that actually have a dangerous ball python. They are usually very docile and relaxed reptiles, so this isn’t very common for the species to be aggressive. There are however some steps which you can take to calm your ball pythons aggression. At least towards yourself and people living in the same house.
Learn about your Ball python
First of all, get to know your ball python and read up on ball pythons natural characteristics. Research into topics which you’re unsure on, so you’re confident in your own abilities when handling your ball python. For example, you need to learn at what stages in their life they become more aggressive. Did you know that the ball python species becomes more aggressive and dangerous when it is hungry. Or that female ball pythons become more aggressive when they have laid their eggs.
Knowing your ball pythons day to day business will give you a better relationship and understanding of its behaviours. This will in give you the knowledge and confidence needed to react appropriately. You should be able to determine when your ball python needs to be left alone and needs space. You should be able to determine if there are any signs of illness or disease. Know when your ball python is happy or not can have a huge affect on its aggressiveness and will naturally make them less dangerous.
Having the correct habitat for your ball python will ensure its happiness. If your snake has become aggressive or dangerous, maybe it’s not happy in its living conditions. There should be enough room for the snake to move around freely without feeling too inclosed. Make sure the temperature in the vivarium hasn’t dropped, or risen too high as this will cause unwanted stress. Your ball pythons vivarium should stay around 90 degrees Fahrenheit at the warm end of the vivarium, and 77 Degrees Fahrenheit in the cool end. This may seem hard to control, but a reliable thermometer will help you keep track of temperatures and is crucial for your vivarium.
Allow your ball python to have its down time every so often. Specially when you’re bringing it home for the first time, or cleaning its vivarium. These new surroundings will cause the python to become more cautious which heightens stress levels. This will naturally make your ball python become more aggressive and potentially dangerous.
Remember, ball pythons are non communal reptiles, so they like to be alone. Giving your ball python some time to itself will pay dividends to its happiness. I would recommend that you only handle your ball python every other day, and every so often leave a couple of days in-between handling. Specially before and after feeding.
Get your Ball Python used to your smell
Ball pythons recognise their surroundings by sense of smell. They know the smell of their hiding spots, the smell of prey and will certainly know the smell of their owner. Specially the ones in which they are used to being handled by. If your ball python does not recognise a smell, they may see it as a threat. Again this will naturally make them more cautious and potentially aggressive towards individuals.
A little tip you can try is placing an item of clothing near to their vivarium when they’re young, so your smell is constantly around your ball python for a day or two. Then after that, take it away again for another day or two. Repeat this process for a week or so and your ball python should start to become familiar with your natural scent. The smell returning every so often will reassure your ball python that your scent is not threatening. This will keep your ball python in a much calmer state when being handled as it will not feel threatened.
After this you can start offering your hand for your ball python to smell. Becoming comfortable with your scent is very important to lower aggression levels. Sometimes your snake will use its tongue to taste you as this is where its receptors are housed. This is completely normal and does not a mean your ball python is thinking of you as food, they’re just reassuring themselves about their safety.
Remember if your ball python does start to coil up, slowly move your hand away as it is most likely become agitated and threatened with your presence. It’s best to leave your ball python to calm itself down, and reduce its stress levels. You should do all your habitat checks to make sure no one factor is incorrect. These are, Temperature, Humidity, Cleanliness, Diet, Illness and Diseases.
You can try moving some of the furniture around inside of your snakes vivarium. You should do this without coming into contact with your snake. This again proves that you are no threat to its safety. Becoming familiar with your scent is the end goal from all these steps.
Pre-handling your Ball Python
The next step is to actually handle your snake. However you do not want to skip any of these stages before, which obviously you won’t. So, before handling your ball python you should make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. This will reduce the possible introduction of germs and bacteria to your pet.
Be sure to use a suitable snake hook when handling an aggressive ball python for the first time. Slide the hook underneath the mid-body. Lift the snake so its head is facing away from you. Slide your hand gently under the mid body also and slowly remove the hook. Then set the snake back down again. Repeat this over the next few weeks. This method will slowly start to get your snake used to your touch and being handled.
Once these previous steps have all been undertaken, (and you are fully confident in your ability to handle your ball python) you may go ahead and start to handle your snake for longer periods of time. Remember that snakes are known to sense fear. So if you aren’t fully confident and still a little hesitant, this will make your snake feel more cautious also.
Remember to also support the entire body weight, so there is no strain on any one part of your ball pythons body. Allow your ball python to move freely and wrap itself around your arm, as this is a natural characteristic of ball pythons. Just like it would if its was wrapped around a branch up a tree.
Are Ball Pythons Dangerous Towards Children?
Like I have mentioned before, ball pythons are naturally very relaxed snakes. They have an extremely chilled temper which rarely arises. I would however say that children should always be accompanied by adults when handling ball pythons as children have much higher energy levels. Before letting your child handle a ball python you should make sure they are in a calm state. If your child is running around the house, screaming, generally being a little hyper (like kids do), then this may cause your ball python to become a little stressed. Remind them to stay calm, with slow movements and everything should be fine.
What you will need to make sure of, is that your child is confident with your ball python. If your child is a little scared and keeps pulling their hand away quickly, this could falsely be identified by your snake as a threat, which it may react too. Ball python snake bites are very uncommon, but are not completely exempt. Younger ball pythons are more likely to bite than an older, more mature individual.
Well there you have it. Everything you need to know on “Are ball python dangerous”. Remember that ball pythons are naturally very docile and friendly snakes. They can grow to sizes which may seem scary, however their aggression doesn’t worsen with age.
Ball pythons can sometimes become more aggressive and dangerous when they haven’t been fed for a long period of time, or throughout pregnancies. You should always give your ball python the time and space its needs, which can be determined through its characteristics.
Spend the time to really get to no your ball python and you should have a relationship which neither of you should fear. Are ball pythons dangerous, NO, ball pythons are not dangerous animals and would make a great pet to any home.
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