Pet of the Day

December 3, 1998

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Sweetie, the Pet of the Day
Name: Sweetie
Age: Three years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Green Tree Python
Home: West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
   This is my pet Sweetie. He is a three-year-old, juvenile green tree python that I've had since he was one month old and no bigger than a pencil. Even though he looks pretty mean, he's very tame and he never bites. He's really quite shy and if you insist on playing with him too long he'll poop on you. Sweetie likes chicken! In the wild, these pythons live in trees and snatch birds right out of the air as they fly by. He lives with his mom and dad, four frogs, two salamanders, two boas and two greyhounds in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

    Sweetie is a juvenile, which is why he's yellow. Babies from the same clutch of eggs are often a mix of yellow, green and brick red. They all turn green as they get older. I think they can live for 20 years. Green Trees are a moderately sized snake that grow to less than ten feet. They continue growing their whole lives, but do slow up a bit as they grow old. He lives in a large tank that replicates his rain forest habitat. There are two small waterfalls, moss-covered wall and floor and branches to climb on. He spends most of the time in the "trees" and is very easy to take care of. Sweetie is good natured, but he does have very large fangs and would deliver a serious bite if he wanted to. Green Trees are only for experienced snake keepers. Sweetie used to eat frozen and thawed mice until I fed him a (frozen and thawed) baby chick. Now that's all he'll eat. They really can be fussy eaters. Our two adopted, ex-racing greyhounds, Snowy and Argo, ignore Sweetie and Sweetie ignores them. The tank next to Sweetie's is the amphibian tank where live two tiger salamanders (the largest terrestrial salamander), two White's tree frogs (they're brown/green!) and six red-eyed tree frogs (the loveable frogs in all the magazines with the big red eyes). These guys all ignore Sweetie too. We never allow contact between Sweetie and any of these different species. All the reptiles are nocturnal. That means at night it's feeding time for Sweetie and time for the simulated rains to fall.

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