Burmese pythons are increasingly common as exotic pets, but there are some things to keep in mind about their care.
These snakes grow to enormous size, some up to 20 feet long. Since they can also live a quarter of a century, an owner should be prepared for a substantial responsibility. Many owners, unable to provide a home for very large snakes, have released them into the wild and damaged ecosystems in some states.
Burmese pythons are generally considered very docile for their size, but can still be dangerous after getting to eight feet long. An owner or handler should always have another person present when feeding or handling a python of this size or larger.
A young snake can be housed in a 55 gallon tank with newspaper floor, but larger snakes require larger and larger enclosures, with the largest needing entire rooms. The room should be extra well sealed so that the snake does not escape. Linoleum floors work well. There should be many hides for the snake, such as logs or even a tree. Be careful of lamps, as a python might easily burn itself.
Young pythons eat mice, moving up to rabbits as they grow. The prey you select for your python should be approximately as wide as its body, and should be alive when presented to it.
Make sure to maintain temperatures of at least 80 degrees in the day and 70 and night. Your python will need a pan of water when young and perhaps a whole swimming pool when older.
Pythons are an enormous responsibility, but a great challenge for an ambitious owner.
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