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If you are thinking of adopting a ball python in South Africa, then you will be happy to know that they are the snakes recommended most for beginning snake owners. Since the snakes are considered quite docile, they are the snakes most commonly kept in captivity. They don't get near as big as other constrictors and live a long time. Before you commit to a ball python for the next 20 to 30 years, there are a few things you should consider.
About Ball Pythons
You should know when finding a ball python that they are amazing swimmers and pump air into their own bodies to keep from sinking under the water. They also get their name from the fact that when they feel threatened, they have the ability to roll themselves into a tight, defensive ball with their head and neck tucked between their own coils. This is the only type of python that can do perform this feat.
A ball python's feeding style is to constrict. Wild pythons seek out their prey with a heat organ. Most Pythons that are raised in captivity don't have to be fed live prey, however. It can be dangerous to feed a ball python live prey in captivity, as the snake can mistake your hand for the prey, ending in disaster for both of you. It is best to feed the snake prey that is not still alive.
Choosing Your Python
When looking to adopt a ball python in South Africa, you want to find one that is alert, active, and gently grips your arm when being held. You may also ask for a feeding demonstration to be sure that the snake eats the way it should. You will have better luck with a young python, than one who is getting older.
You want to make sure that your home is set up for the ball python that you are about to adopt, by being sure that you have adequate housing, food, heat, and lighting. Being a snake owner is a huge responsibility, and it is something you should think about long and hard, before you make the decision to become one.