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Pet Danger Noodle!

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If you are looking for a new pet for a kid, the last thing that possibly comes to mind is a snake, right?. Hear us out for a second, though: Ball Pythons can make great pets. There are several reasons why this species of snake that’s endemic to Africa is one of the most popular pet snakes in the world.

The Ball Python’s perhaps the most chill snake on Earth. Much like that one hardcore-stoner friend we all have, they sleep for up to 22 hours per day, get up for an evening slither, and then go back to snooze-land. They might wake up to get into a comfier position, but that’s about it. It might be hard to tell when they’re catching Z’s because they have no eye-lids, so they sleep with their eyes wide open. But, trust us, they’re most definitely checked out.

A Lesser Pastel Ball Python in Exotic Zone Pet Shop GT. Photo: Juan L. Toledo Wurmser/Comvite

Since the Ball Python’s basically the serpentine version of Snorlax, they’re pretty much always on Energy Saving Mode. This, in turn, means that they don’t really eat a lot. According to Luis Ovalle, who runs an exotic pet shop in Guatemala City, they eat a single rodent per week. “The size of the prey depends on the size of the snake,” he explains. “Normally, it has to be about 20% of the snake’s size.”

Like most pythons, this is a non-venomous constrictor, meaning it kills its prey by giving it a cuddly snake-hug. It is not aggressive by nature, however. So, whenever it feels stressed or threatened, it resorts to a very relatable hilarious defence mechanism consisting of curling itself into a ball, tucking its head within its body, and going into perpetual f*ck-it mode. You can literally roll it around, and it won’t care. This behaviour is where the Ball Python’s name comes from.

A Ball Python displaying its defence mechanism in Exotic Zone Pet Shop GT. Photo: Juan L. Toledo Wurmser/Comvite

For a while, they were also known as “Royal Pythons” because, according to legend, some ancient rulers in Africa would often wear them as jewellery since they’re very fashionable. No two Ball Pythons are alike; they all have different patterns and colour-schemes known as “morphs”. There are literally thousands of morphs you can choose from out there, so this makes them sort of a collector’s item as well.

Nominal, Mojave, and Lesser Pastel Ball Pythons on a man’s hand in Guatemala City. Photo: Juan L. Toledo Wurmser/Comvite

Lastly, because they only eat once a week, they only poop once a week. If you clean it out right away, you won’t have to worry about smells. Also, they’re pretty quiet animals. Dogs bark, cats meow, and snakes hiss, which is considerably less noisy.

Ball Pythons generally cost about Q.975 (132 USD), and they are low maintenance. Mr. Ovalles suggests that they’re great for anyone from ages seven and up because they are very docile and easy to handle. So, if you’re looking for a new reptile friend, or just wanna feel like getting ancient royalty bling, consider a Ball Python.

A Lesser Pastel Ball Python on a desk in Exotic Zone Pet Shop GT. Photo: Juan L. Toledo Wurmser/Comvite

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