The ball python, also referred to as the royal python, is perhaps one of the most popular reptiles kept as pets. It is a species originally native to western and central Africa. It does not obtain the great size that some pythons obtain, making it much more manageable. It is often considered a great beginner snake, for those who may not be entirely familiar with reptile care. They are also a very “forgiving” reptile that may survive from mistakes made by the keeper, when other animals may not. Another factor that makes them a great choice for beginners (and even a joy for the experienced keeper) is there wonderful disposition, which is normally very placid and tolerant of human contact.
Your ball python will live to be 20-30 years of age on average. Exceptional cases have been recorded to live over 45 years of age with proper care. This makes the ball python one of the longest-lived snakes in the world.
The ball python can grow to be from 3 to 6 feet in length. The females grow to be larger than males. A healthy ball python has good weight in comparison to its overall length. The rate, at which your snake grows, will depend entirely upon how often it is fed, and the appetite of the snake.
The enclosure should be set up before receiving your python. The largest enclosure that you can afford is recommended for any animal, however, adult ball pythons can be kept in 30 gallon size enclosure without stress related problems if properly set up. If larger enclosures are used, keeping it “cluttered” with nooks, crannies, and places to hide will keep you python from feeling too vulnerable. There should be a substrate (floor covering) lining the bottom of the enclosure. Newspaper can be used as a substrate for ball pythons, and allows cheap replacement and easy clean up of messes.