Pet of the Day

March 5, 1999

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Mr. Snake, the Pet of the Day
Name: Mr. Snake
Age: Three years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Red Tailed Boa
Home: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
   Mr. Snake is a three year old Red Tailed Boa. He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Mr. Snake likes to teach children why snakes aren't scary, or slimy like many people think. He sleeps a lot on a nice warm rock, and eats only every other week or so. About every three months he sheds his skin. After he sheds, his skin is very shiny and beautiful; a rainbow can even be seen on it.

    Mr. Snake is a Common Red-Tailed Boa. At three years old, he is about four feet long. Often times, people who buy them will gorge them with food to make them grow fast. In the wild, a snake will eat whatever happens his way, which isn't usually twelve guinea pigs :-) We feed Mr. Snake a medium rat once or twice a month. When he becomes active after his last meal is when I provide a new meal.

    Snakes will not eat as much in the wild, as they are fed in captivity. They have a dormant period each year in which they will sleep for three to six months at a time. There for, feeding light during the winter months is appropriate. Mr. Snake is quiet, and prefers to sleep the day away. Snakes prefer not to be bothered too much; it is stressful, so we don't hold him too often. However, when we do hold him, he is calm, and usually active. He constantly is moving, and trying to go somewhere.

    I do usually bring him out for kids to see, because I believe in educating children about things they're usually afraid of. I try to show them that he isn't slimy at all, and that there's really nothing to be afraid of (with him). He is a beautiful color, and is awesome to look at after freshly shed. His colors are light, as he is supposedly a "Colombian" Boa (fairer than the common red tailed). His gray and peach coloration was the main reason I chose to bring him home. (He was also a baby, and babies are sooo cute, you know.)

    I am not sure how long boas or snakes live, although I believe them to be long-lived. Adult common boas have grown as long as fourteen feet in captivity. They do not grow as long as the Burmese Python, though. The Burmese is neck and neck with the Anaconda in length. It is not known for sure, which snake can grow the longest, because examples of both have been found at lengths of 30 feet and longer. Common boas make wonderful "pets" that are easy to take care of, and as long as they aren't fed too much, too often, will stay a reasonable length for a long time.

    Mr. Snake has a few things to say about snakes and reptiles on his web page. He explains to children why snakes are so cool, and how snakes have been on this earth since before the dinosaurs.

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