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Ball Python Captive Care Progress

I remember the first Ball Pythons I had ever seen, they were sold at the first snake show held in South Africa. Despite being wild caught they were active and in good health at first glance. They sold like hot cakes and were quite cheap when compared to other snakes at the show. At the time reptiles cost more, a King Snake hatchling  cost R600.00 and if my memory serves me correctly was the same price the Ball Pythons at the show cost.  I had a source of inside information at a pet shop and was told that within a couple of months every single one of the Ball Pythons sold at the show had died from starvation. At this time Ball Pythons were all wild caught and refused to feed on domestic  mice and rats, out of despiration some owners would feed their Ball Pythons Dwarf  Hamsters which were the only ” wild”  rodent available at the time. Ball Pythons even had the nickname Annual Python because you bought one and it lasted a year before starving to death. Most snake keepers stayed away from Ball Pythons in the early years but a few dedicated individuals managed to captive breed these snakes, probably using younger captive ranched specimens to start their breeding programs as these snakes fed better than wild caught adults.  Captive bred Ball Pythons feed well, stay small  and are docile and because of these factors have become popular pet snakes. I would not have thought wondering around at the first show that in a decades time there would be so many Ball Python Morphs and the possibility that they might become  more popular than Corn Snakes. The above example proves that without a doubt captive bred reptiles thrive in captivity, while wild caught animals do not. So the moral of this story is that only captive bred reptiles should be bought and if you have purchased a wild caught reptile document the husbandry methods that work and those that don’t, If possible attempt to breed wild caught reptiles as captive breeding will prevent people collecting reptiles from the wild.

A selectively bred Ball Python morph, physical proof of the captive breeding success of these Pythons