Biting among boas

The housing of two boas in one terrarium is possible and advantageous for the keeper and the boas. However, there are preventive measures to take in order to avoid bitings among the animals. For istance, they have to be separated when food is offered and must not co-housed again immediately after feeding. Also it is important to make sure that the animals are not confused by your shadow when you pass the terrarium at night when they are looking for food. The boas can interpret your shadow as the movement of a prey item and strike in the corresponding direction. When both act simultaneously a biting can occur. As a rule they will let go of immediately, however, sometimes serious injuries can be the consequence.

The likelihood of bitings is higher in the summertime since the boas are more alert due to the high temperature.

The reason of the biting in the case at hand is unknown.

Here is the photo documentation:

Due to unknown circumstances a biting of these two boas happened. 

Firstly one can try to stop the fight by immersing the animals in the water (flowing water from the tap can be even more effective than water in a bowl). But sometimes such a biting can only be terminated by stronger means. 

It is clearly visible how much the lower jaw and the mouth are mutilated by the biting and wrenching 

A very sad sight. Without a surgery this animal can't be rescued...

This photo shows the terrible extent of the injury.

Fortunately, a vet in Vienna saved the life of the boa with a surgery. 


We wish to thank the owner (a friend of ours) of the Hog Island and the Cancun Boa that he puts the photos to our disposal.

Britains got talent: negligent, reckless and irresponsible!

The performance of a 7-year old girl in Great Britains TV show "Britains got Talent" raises the question who is more stupid: The parents of this girl who allow (or even arranged it?) her daughter to perform on stage with an adult boa constrictor wrapped around her neck or the persons responsible from the TV station who broadcast such an insanity to millions of televiewers and invite others to imitate such a reckless behaviour.

We have reported several times on our website how dangerous it is to subject boids to show conditions. The strange environment, the crowd in the hall, the spotlights and the entire atmosphere makes the animal nervous and increase the risk of a panic reaction (mostly a defensive bite). Frequently such a bite is applied to the eyes since this is the nearest target when the boa is wrapped around the neck (see here...)

In this special case things might even get worse: The boa is wrapped around the neck of the girl so tightly that a little more pressure is sufficient to interrupt the blood flow of the carotid artery. Consequence: The oxygene supply of the brain comes down and the girl is inconscious within a few seconds. If assistants would try to remove the boa from the neck of the girl the animal will hold tight even more (every boa keeper knows this).

If the worst comes to the worst the girl will be strangled.

A visitor of our website, Mrs. Cynthia Servetnick from San Francisco has informed us about this matter. She has written an email to the persons responsible of the show:

Dear Sirs:
I just watched the below video which has been widely circulated since the Britain's Got Talent episode with Olivia Binfield and Lucy the snake aired.
How could Britain's Got Talent allow such a dangerous activity to be broadcast?  The reputable website below instructs boa owners not to let the animals wrap themselves around their necks.  PLEASE READ THIS:

The boa constrictor's behavior in such a loud, crowded, spotlight environment was not predictable which was potentially endangering to Olivia Binfield.
Your show made it appear that this dangerous behavior is acceptable.  Children learn from the media more easily than they learn from expert sources.  Airing this segment was negligent, reckless and irresponsible.  
I strongly urge you to contribute to an appropriate organization to produce an educational message letting people--especially children--know this is not the proper way to handle a boa.  The message should be aired on Britain's Got Talent at least once and the clip should be made available on the Internet.
Cynthia Servetnick
San Francisco, CA, USA

We could not agree more with Cynthia! Here you can watch a bunch of stupid and reckless adults and their victim:




Boa constrictor in lavatory | Boa constrictor in toilet | Boa constrictor escaped | Boa constrictor in sanitation | Boa constrictor in the bathroom |

Boa eats motorcycle glove

On October 16, 2011 the boa constrictor keeper Detlev Rahn wrote us an email asking for help and advice.   

What has happened? Would you believe it: One of his boas had eaten a size 11 motorcycle glove.


Motorcycle glove, size 11, partly leather, partly synthetic material. Now it is in the stomach of the boa constrictort. Photo: Detlef Rahn

Mr. Rahn was going to leave for a short vacation. Therefore he filled up the water containers in the terrariums. One of his boas is snappy; therefore he put on a motorcycle glove for protection. As expected, the boa bit immediately and wrapped itself around the arm.

Since Mr. Rahn was not inclined to wait until the boa would let go of the glove, he removed his hand from the glove with some effort and left it to the boa in the terrarium. He expected the animal to let go of the glove sometime and bestow no further attention to it.

Unfortunately he was mistaken. When he returned after 5 days the glove was missing and the boa showed a lump in the stomach region.


The motorcycle glove in the boa, one week after the animal has swallowed it. Photo: Detlef Rahn


Unfortunately major parts of the glove consist of synthetic material that presumable defy digestion. Therefore it remains to be seen whether the glove can be dissolved or at least macerated by the digestive acid.

Also, it is a safe assumption that this textile will cause a stress to the organism of the boa firstly since the material is not considered to be food and secondly because the motorcycle glove had been treated with an agent to make it water resistant. A field day for the liver!

Since this is an extraordinary case we informed out vets, Dres. Heuberger. They advised to wait because there is still a chance that the glove will be excreted in the natural way or regurgitated.

Unfortunately, neither possibility seemed to occur. On November 6, 2011, Mr. Rahn reported that the glove in the stomach of the boa feels hard like a rubber ball now and can’t be shifted anymore. At this time 16 days had passed since the boa has swallowed the textile.


The motorcycle glove in the boa (view from above), 16 days after the animal has swallowed it. Up to now no progress of the digestion is visible. Photo: Detlef Rahn

According to our vets an attempt to administer oil would be the next step if the animal can’t solve the problem on its own accord. If this doesn’t work either, only a surgery can save the boa.

Unfortunately Mr. Rahn is too far away from these experienced reptile vets to entrust his boa in their care and treatment. We hope that he will find another competent vet near his place who can solve the glove problem before it is too late!


Update  November 13, 2011:

Mr. Rahn reported that the lump in the stomach of the boa seems to be softer now and that is has assumed an oblong shape. So there is still hope that the issue will solve itself in a naturally way.


update December 1, 2011:

The body of the boa is inflated. Not a good sign...

photo: Detlef Rahn


Update December 11, 2011:

On December 11, 2011 the boa has regurgitated the glove. On top the intact counterpart for a comparison.

photo: Detlef Rahn

Bottom line: The glove has been in the stomach of the boa for almost 2 months. The photo shows that it is almost undigested. It remains to be seen whether the animal will show signs of a health issue now or if the matter is finally settled. We are somewhat sceptical, but we hope that we are mistaken.

Thanks to Detlef Rahn for sharing this interesting story with us. We wish him all the best!


Boa constrictor in the toilet

For a 7-year old girl from Hannover - Linden people worst nightmare became true. When she opened the lid of the toilet bowl in order to relieve herself she looked squarely in the eyes of a young Boa constrictor. The appaled mother called out the police and the fire department who managed to take a photo of the offender, but failed to catch it. The boa escaped never to be seen again.

Obviously the animal has escaped from the terrarium of its owner and found its way into the toilet. From there it attained the apartment of the girls family, presumably by swimming in the sewage system.


Everybody is invited to start the mental cinema and imagine what may happen if you take a seat in such a situation  :o)

Photo courtesy of the Hannover police department


A particularly brazen attemp of fraud!

In mid August 2011 we were informed by our Czech friends Mirka and Dan Korejsowa that a person from Slovakia who trades in boas from Suriname has contacted them. He doubted the information on their website on our Suriname Pokigron Boa c. constrictor. He claimed that a Pokigron locality does not exist in Suriname.

In order to prove this person wrong and help him out of his ignorace we provided him with information on our Pokigron boas. 

Only four weeks later the very same importer who has doubted the Pokigron locality is now offering Suriname Pokigron boas cb September 2011 on Czech advertisement websites.

This implies that he has doubted the locality only to elicit information that he can use now to mislabel his animals as Pokigron boas in order to get more money for them.

It seems that the brazenness knows no limit in this business.

Thanks to our friends Mirka and Dan for warning against this attempted fraud!