Pet of the Day

November 11, 2012

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Quetzalcoatl, the Pet of the Day
Name: Quetzalcoatl
Age: Five years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Brazilian Rainbow Boa
Home: Colorado, USA
   When I rescued this magnificent specimen he was very underweight, dark and muted in color, and extremely aggressive. The first time I attempted to handle him I was bitten four times. He hid continually and refused all food for well over a month. In searching for a solution to his issues, I discovered that at some point in his life prior to my custodianship his jaw had been badly injured such in a way that is unlikely to ever fully heal. For this reason it was painful and difficult for him to eat the usual sized food offered to a snake his size. I began offering him food half the usual size, twice as often, and had immediate results. He has not refused a smaller meal once. I have also been slowly acclimating him to being gently handled, starting first with leather gloves on and slowly working away from the use of them. I am now able to handle him for prolonged periods without any signs of aggression.

    He recently shed his skin for me for the first time since I obtained him, a nice clean shed, thus providing further evidence that his new home and diet is working and that he is growing strong and healthy. As you can see by the pictures, his color is now fantastic. He is nearly the maximum length he will achieve at over five and a half feet in length, although he could still stand to put on a bit more girth.

    Quetzalcoatl is a success story in that he almost certainly would have perished prematurely had he remained under his previous care. These snakes are not for everyone as they have particular needs, which differ from other common pet snakes, but for the educated caregiver they are a delight to behold with their shimmering rainbow of iridescence!

Quetzalcoatl, the Pet of the Day

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