Ball Python Handling tips

Ball Python Care BookReader Question:

I just bought a Baby Bumble Ball Python that hatched on 6-28-09. It’s a very nice snake to look at but very mean so far. Any time I go to get in the tank she tries to bite, even when I am just looking into the tank she tries to bite. This is not the first ball python that I have. I also have a jungle pastel, a spider, and an albino — all extremely calm and nice. This is the youngest one I have ever had. Is this normal for a baby ball python to be so aggressive, and will it settle done in time? Or is an aggressive baby an aggressive adult? I also just heard that the higher end morphs are more aggressive then other morphs. Is this true, and can they still be calmed down?

I am also having trouble getting her to eat. All she will do is strike at the mouse but never take it. The breeder that I bought her from said she ate once for him after she shed. The last time she ate was on 7-08-09, so I am getting worried about her not eating. I have tried different methods of getting her to eat and nothing has worked so far. I took her to a reptile vet, and he said that she is healthy, and to give her some more time to settle down, he thinks she might be going into shed again, and to bring her back in a week. But the longer I wait the more worried I get. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Brandon’s Response:

Aggressive baby ball pythons are fairly common. Most are reluctant to bite, but every so often you’ll encounter one that’s a real striker. Fortunately, this kind of behavior can be reduced over time, by handling the snake on a weekly basis. It’s important not to over-handle the snake, though. Too much handling can stress a ball python out — especially a baby that’s in a brand new environment.

If I were you, I would avoid handling the snake until it accepts a couple of meals. So let’s talk about how to do that.

First off, you might want to review the ball python feeding tips I’ve, causing serious injury and infection.

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