Disclosure: Some of the links, pictures, and/or elements on this page may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase or take a qualified action.

Here’s a common question that newbies ask: Can a ball python kill an adult human or a child? This is actually a good question especially for parents who are planning of keeping these kinds of exotic pets. Can a ball python kill an adult human or a child? Some people have young kids in the house and it is just right to know the risks that could be involve to keep everyone safe. If you’re asking this, it only means you’re a responsible and diligent adult. This is important before you bring any kind of pet in the house. So, can a ball python kill an adult human or a child?

Can a Ball Python Kill an Adult Human or a Child: Yes and No

Can a ball python kill an adult human or a child? Let’s be honest here, if a ball python really wants to, or let’s just say if you put them on a scenario where they are free to just roam around without taking any precautions, they won’t be able to kill per se but they can still do some harm. If you want to know if these snakes can kill a human through their constricting abilities, the short answer is no. However, this only applies to adults and kids of a certain age. If we’re talking about a baby or maybe a really small toddler, then obviously ball pythons can kill them through constriction. But for adult humans, ball pythons are too small to encircle and constrict one.

A Threat to Babies

Can a ball python kill an adult human or a child? As mentioned earlier, for babies this is a different case. While ball pythons are not notorious when it comes to killing babies or doing harm to their keepers, it is indeed possible for adult – sized ball python to kill a baby. However, this is highly unlikely since ball pythons love humans in general. They are also the kind of snake species that are generally docile and calm. This is why they are ideal to keep as pets even for first – time owners.

Factors to Consider

Ball python killing a human baby is physically possible for two reasons:

  • If an adult – sized ball python is already long and large enough to get around a baby’s neck
  • A baby won’t be able to simple remove the snake from its neck which is already a death trap right there. It’s not like they can defend themselves like how a child or adult would do.

Can a Ball Python Kill an Adult Human or a Child: Example Case

Can a ball python kill an adult human or a child? In 2012, there was a story in the news about an infant who was attacked by a ball python on his 1st birthday. The snake belonged to their neighbor. Somehow the ball python escaped in the enclosure and eventually found its way onto the baby’s crib. Fortunately, the father of the baby saw it and came into the room. He found the ball python snake wrapping itself up to the baby’s ankle. The dad was able to remove the snake before the baby’s feet was damaged or had any serious injury.


In this case, the snake would have soon realized that it couldn’t eat the child’s leg. It will most probably would have just let go and move along. But if it had wrapped around the child’s neck for some reason, it could have constrict the airway and this could have led to fatality. Fortunately, that didn’t happen but the point is it’s possible. Ball pythons and even other common household pets are still animals. Even if they are generally docile or trained, they don’t have the reasoning and empathy that we humans have. And it’s also not their fault if they will cause you harm because it is our responsibility to stay cautious if things don’t go our way.

Can a Ball Python Kill an Adult Human or a Child: Other Python Species

There are other species of pythons that are indeed capable of killing a human being. Reticulated pythons and African rock pythons belong in this group. It’s quite rare but there have been cases where these snakes attacked and killed their owners, and other innocent people. These other type of pythons can easily grow to more than 12 feet, and others more than 20 feet in length.

Slim Snake

As for the maximum size of adult ball pythons, they can only grow to about 4 feet. In addition to that, they are also much slimmer compared to other python species like the Burmese python. The thing here is that, there never has a documented case about a ball python species attacking or killing a human. If there’s one, feel free to send it to us. But again, there would still be risks associated when keeping exotic animals like these. Let’s talk about that on the next section.

Other Risks Associated with Ball Python Keeping

So, can a ball python kill an adult human or a child? The answer is no. These snake species are just too small to kill an adult human. But again, if there’s a remote chance then they might be able to kill a baby or a young child – theoretically.

Feeling Unsafe?

Just like keeping other kinds of pets, there are some risks you should be aware of. While a ball python species won’t be able to kill you, it can still bite you and injure you. These snakes are generally docile as mentioned earlier because they tend to just curl up and hide their heads whenever they feel unsafe. But just like anything else, there are some exceptions to this. There are aggressive ball pythons that can bite their keepers and other people if given the chance. Don’t worry though because this kind of behavior can be straightened out over time. This is just a reminder because there’s a chance you can end up with an aggressive one.


The best advice I can give you is to buy a healthy baby ball python because this is the best way to shape its behavior. If you buy an adult ball python, it will be harder for you to change their behavior. You need to know how they are raised by the breeder to give you an idea of their personality. By regularly handling them, young ball pythons generally grow into docile pets. We hope this answers your question, can a ball python kill an adult human or a child?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This