While in college, it is quite common to not have housing that can support the likes of a dog or cat. Whether they are not allowed in the building or too expensive, I found that ball pythons are a great pet to help fill that desire for an animal companion and cost roughly the same amount as a small dog or cat per month.
They require misting and proper humidity in their terrarium, feeding periodically depending on the age and size of the snake, and frequent handling for short periods of time. A great resource for more information about caring for ball pythons is Petco’s caresheet on their website.
I have always been the wild child who would pick up a toad, or stack four of them on my head, without hesitation, as that was quite an acomplishment for me as a four year old. The slugs under the garden pot in the back yard were utterly fascinating and the lizards that ran around the edges of the pool in the summer were the coolest yet hardest to catch. As a child, I even had a “toad tire” in my grandparent’s backyard. The tire was a massive tractor tire and homed hundreds of toads, bugs, garden snakes, and the lizards I managed to catch, summer by summer.
While most people are terrified of snakes and creepy crawlies, ball pythons are an incredibly docile snake that are perfect for overcoming fears. My goal is to help inform others about my experience with the journey I have taken these past several months with my two snakes. My young female, Eleanore, is skiddish but curious and my five year old male is timid yet very active and friendly.
While my snakes may frighten others, I am happy to show off my unusual companions to anybody who’s interested.
Brooke Greene is a self-described snake mommy and Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism.