What is a ball python? Ball python’s scientific name is “Python regius” and it is the smallest of the African pythons and because of its small size, passive temperament and reasonable price, it has become one of the most popular pet snakes. What is a ball python has a tendency to curl up into a ball when experiencing stress. Ball Pythons are also called the Royal Pythons, most notably in Europe, because they are used as jewelry by African rulers. In this article, you’ll learn what is a ball python and what to expect as a potential keeper.
What is a Ball Python?: Natural Habitat
What is a ball python typically have brown and tan colors for camouflage in the savannahs and grasslands, their natural habitat. Its underbelly is commonly ivory white or cream, and there are usually gold or light brown sides and dorsal blotches.
Ball Pythons are native to Africa, and their population is spread across the continent from Sudan and Uganda throughout Cameroon, Chad, and the Central African Republic and from Senegal, Mali, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. This snake species is also revered in Nigerian culture, particularly in its southeastern area, and are considered symbolic of the earth and its riches.
Ball Pythons are relatively easy to care for compared to other serpentine creatures, and their passive nature makes them an ideal pet even for children. They rarely bite, if at all, preferring to coil into a tight ball instead of facing aggression head – on.
What is a ball python require regular handling to get them used to human touch, and constant touch makes them even tamer, making for wonderful and quite endearing reptilian pets.
The Ball Python is endemic to the grasslands and open forests of West and Central Africa. They are found in Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo, and Uganda, usually in plains, savannahs, and areas that provide them cover. They are also fond of areas cleared for farming, even often acting as pest control since they prey on mice and rodents.
What is a ball python prefer areas close to a water source so that they can easily cool themselves during hot days. They also like empty mammal burrows and underground hiding spaces, where they spend most of their time, though they can also climb trees if they choose. They like their solitude and spend the day in tight crevices, and as nocturnal species, they are more active during nighttime, and are most active at dawn and at dusk.
Ball Pythons are not an endangered species. Though exploited for the pet trade, where approximately 30,000 to 50,000 Ball Pythons are annually imported from Africa to American markets, the decline in what is a ball python population is not drastic enough to be considered a threat. Furthermore, the species has a large range and a wide distribution across the African continent. There are some areas, especially in Nigeria, where Ball Pythons are believed to be sacred and are thus protected accordingly.
What is a Ball Python? Are You Worthy of Keeping One?
You should ask yourself exactly why you want to keep a Ball Python as a pet. Ball Pythons have an average lifespan of 20 years – suffice it to say that it is a considerable stretch of time, and if you are only considering getting a Ball Python as a status symbol, then you should rethink your choices. As much as what is a ball python would make a wonderful addition to your household with their natural elegance and exquisiteness, their care would also demand much of your commitment. The responsibilities you would have to carry include feeding them, cleaning after them, seeing to their maintenance, and understanding their behavior.
What is a ball python are gentle creatures, and their defense mechanism involves curling up into a tight ball of stress – rather surprising to some, really, in light of the usual mythos surrounding snakes. Ball Pythons also respond fairly well to human touch especially if it is constant, so you would have to make sure that you do not neglect them. They are known to be picky eaters and are sensitive to temperature, for which you will have to watch out. You will also have to check them constantly for ticks and mites, their primary parasites.
Simply put, what is a ball python require a fair amount of guarantee that you will be there to take care of them and make sure they are okay. You cannot take care of a Ball Python halfway, and you have to be all in – starting with recognizing within yourself if you have what it takes to take care of this lovely creature.
There is no federal law governing private possession or ownership of exotic animals in the United States. You need to pay attention not on a national level but on a local level, with your local and state laws and ordinances, to see what is permitted and what is not.
The regulations vary from locale to locale, as some outright ban or prohibit exotic or dangerous animals, while others simply call for permits that set down requirements such as micro-chipping, an established relationship with a veterinarian, and even insurance. Some may also ask you to present proof that you are acquiring the animal from a recognized breeder and that the snake was bred in captivity (as opposed to being captured from the wild).
Since the legalities may seem confusing, it is best if you consult with your local United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office to make sure that you are not inadvertently breaking any laws. It is also a good idea to check the rules about keeping pet snakes based on where you are – city, town, neighborhood, and even in the apartment building, if applicable.
Putting It All Together
All these are reasonable precautions to take simply for the fact that should you ever be found to be keeping such a pet illegally, the discovery could result in consequences such as fines or, worse, the confiscation of your pet. You might not even be able to find a veterinarian willing to give your what is a ball python medical care if you are found to be keeping it without the correct permits.
You have to check under which classification what is a ball python falls into – whether it is considered as an “exotic animal” or a “dangerous animal.” Definitions may vary, including the process for getting a permit, which means that you would really have to do your research. You also need to be constantly updated on information regarding your local state laws at least once every six months. Regulations can change, and you don’t want to find yourself suddenly in violation of a law which was amended after you thought you had abided by it a year ago.