Keeping a reticulated python as a pet is not easy. A lot of efforts on the owner’s part is needed to take care of the world’s longest snake. Let us find out how to keep these reptiles appropriately and carefully in captivity.
Since reticulated pythons belong to python family, they are huge and muscular. Their unique color and pattern makes them different from other pythons. At the back of this mighty python, you can see diamond-shaped irregular patterns of various color combination. Hence, the name ‘reticulated’, which means net-like. They are found mostly in Southeast Asia and are the world’s longest snake. Their average length is 10-20 feet. Just like other pythons, they are non-venomous and this makes reticulated python care bit easy and safe. They are great swimmers and hence, are usually found near water bodies like rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. They can be found mostly in rain forests and grasslands.
Reticulated Python Care Sheet
Reticulated python care can be laborious, since you would be keeping a snake as a pet after all. In inexperienced hands, it can be really fatal, so it is not advisable for beginners. One of the scary traits of this python is that once it starts attacking, it will not stop until its prey backs off or is dead. This means that if handled carelessly you may end up going to the hospital.
One of the most important things to consider when housing a reticulated python is its cage or housing. Reticulated pythons are fast growing snakes, hence you may require to change the cage as the snake grows. In the beginning you may get a cage in which the snake must be able to stretch half its body length. In case of dwarf reticulated python, you may not need a big cage. But then remember, the bigger the better. You will have to do a lot of modification inside the cage. Since you will be keeping a small young snake, you must keep a small branch inside so that the snake can be active.
Keep a water bowl in which you must provide clean water. It must be big enough to accommodate the snake in it, as the snake might want to get a dip in water sometimes. You must also provide a heat source to let the snake grow in appropriate temperature. It is really very important to provide the snake with a heat source. The average floor temperature must be approximately 88°F – 99°F. But then be sure that the heat is not too much to burn the snake! Do not use a heavy voltage bulb like 100+ watt. It is best advised to use soft incandescent or fluorescent light.
You can use newspapers, tissues, paper towels as substrates (substrates are materials which are used as flooring for the cage). It is easier to clean. Hygiene is really very important for reticulated python. You must properly disinfect the entire cage every week for ensuring better health of your snake.
Feeding your snake may look a little difficult but it isn’t. Young hatchlings will usually feast on small mice once a week. As the snake grows, it may demand bigger food like adult rats, larger rats, etc. Once the snake is two or three years old, you may start feeding it with rabbits or chicken, two or three in a month. Please keep in mind not to over feed your snake, as it will only make it obese and inactive. Also, you may feed live prey to your snake as they may want to kill their prey themselves and then eat. Remember not to feed your snake with wild animals as they may harm your snake.
Handling a snake is also an important part of reticulated python care. Reticulated python breeders handle young reticulated pythons from as early as possible. In the same way, you must handle your snake when they are young because they must get used to your handling as they grow old. As they become adult you must not handle them alone, make sure that whenever you do, you have someone besides you. Also, never leave your python alone with small kids as it can be fatal. Hope this information about the biggest snake in the world was helpful. Reticulated pythons can be great pets but only in experienced hands.