Which snake is most suitable for me?

Before we jump into a selection of the most ‚common’ boas and pythons and their individual pros and cons, we would first like to talk about the problems involving wild-caught animals.

Captive-bred vs. Wild-caught

We have previously mentioned the negative impact that a change of location can have for a snake, at which point we were referring to captive-bred animals.

This problem is much more dramatic with wild-caught specimen. These animals were born in the wild, and have fully adapted to the conditions provided by nature.

At some point of their life, they are unlucky enough to cross the path of a snake hunter, who puts an end to their nice life in freedom. But, it is a long way until they reach an enclosure in Germany or elsewhere, and many animals never make it there.

The snake hunter puts no effort into caring for the animals, as they are his/her product that will be stored until the dealer takes it. Until then, the snake will be housed with numerous other specimens in a tight space under unfavorable conditions.

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The hunting process itself already finishes off some of these poor beings. Those natives, that earn their living that way, are not too squeamish about this. The reptile is caught with a noose, which is pulled together behind the head or at the tail of the snake. The animal is then caught and tied to a branch until the snake hunter has completed his route (which can occasionally take several days). If the boa or python is still alive on the way back, the animal is then collected.

Due to this great deal of stress, the first few animals are now already getting sick, and are infecting others. Hygiene is an unknown term, and the animals are forced to crawl through each other’s feces. Internal parasites, that the boas and pythons harbor naturally in the wild, are now able to multiply readily due to the weakened immune system.

The animals – or better, what is left of them – then go from the dealer in the country of origin to a dealer in the designated country, where they end up at a pet store, and eventually after many months at the customer, where the vast majority of the remaining specimen die within a few months.

Therefore, wild-caught specimen should be destined for very experienced keepers only, who rely on fresh bloodlines and true subspecies for breeding projects. Only this circle of keepers has the knowledge necessary to (possibly) keep these animals alive and nourish them back to full health.

So much for this saddening chapter, to which everyone who buys wild-caught specimen contributes.

We would now like to try to show you the advantages and disadvantages of the species of boas and pythons that are most frequently kept in captivity. We thereby hope to give you a better basis for making the decisions to acquire such an animal.