Cade Moses, doctor of veterinary medicine at Spur Ridge Vet Hospital in Marion, recently rehabilitated a young ball python back to health after it was injured when someone closed a drawer on it, breaking several of its ribs. Now the python is available for adoption.
Ball pythons, which originate in sub-Sahara Africa, can grow to 3 or 3½ feet long — relatively short for a python. However, they can grow fairly thick. This one is about 15 inches long so far.
“They’re what’s considered an entry-level reptile because they’re fairly easy to care for,” Moses said.
They live in burrows and holes, so it is good to have a hiding spot in an enclosure for one. They are also more active at night than during the day.
If handled with care, ball pythons seldom bite. Moses said he has had the snakes before, and the only time he was bitten was when he tried to take a mouse away from one.
Mice are the main food for ball pythons kept as pets, although a mature python could eat a rat, he said. They get close to their maximum size after about four years, and they can live 15 to 20 years with good care and a suitable environment.
Because snakes are cold-blooded, they need to be able to move between warmer and cooler areas in an enclosure to regulate their body heat.
All reptiles can carry salmonella, so it is advisable for a person to wash their hands after holding one.
Moses said he is hoping to find a home for the python soon. To find out if the snake is still available or for more information, call (620) 381-2100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org