The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

August 19, 2013

Pet snakes can slither their way into your heart

For some animal lovers, watching these exotic creatures slither across the Animal Planet screen isn't enough -- you want to bring the thrill of snake ownership into your own home. 

While snakes seem exciting and manageable through a television screen or from behind a glass wall, there are a few things that aspiring snake owners must know before bringing these exotic creatures into their homes.

The most common snakes kept by enthusiasts are cornsnakes, kingsnakes, and ball pythons. Many of these snakes, like the corn and king, are well suited for older children and first-time snake owners, due to their simple feeding methods and docile temperament. However, some species reach very large sizes in captivity, and their considerable space requirements must be anticipated.

"Other popular snakes like boa constrictors and carpet python are better for an owner comfortable with larger snakes, as they often get 7 or more feet long," explained Dr. Jordan Gentry, zoological medicine resident at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. "Green tree python, rainbow boas, and tree boas have slightly more specialized care and are less tolerant to handling, but can make great pets for an owner that has researched the species."

Large constricting snakes, venomous snakes, and snakes with difficult care requirements do not make suitable pets and should only be kept by experienced herpetologists.

Doing research on the individual snake species you are interested in will provide you with recommendations for their care, including environmental, sanitation, and dietary considerations.

"The habitat for the snake depends entirely on the species of snake, as some are from an arid environment that does not require as much humidity as a snake from a tropical environment," said Gentry.

As for feeding requirements, almost all pet snakes should be on a whole prey diet of pre-killed rodents, such as mice or rats. 

Text Only
Opinion
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • What it was like as a teen

    Ten years ago today, I’d like to think I was checking out educational books to prepare myself for my upcoming journey through college.

    In reality, I was probably playing video games and thinking of ways to have fun, while trying not to get into too much trouble.

    July 20, 2014

  • Randy Meier Spoofing practices resurface Spoofing is the practice deliberately falsifying a telephone number and/or name relayed to the caller ID feature of a phone. This type of call right now is the number one phone scam I receive. Many people report receiving calls appearing on caller ID

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Impeaching the president Sarah Palin is right about impeaching President Obama.No, not that the president should be impeached. But Palin is correct in arguing that, for those who assert that Obama has grievously abused his executive authority, impeachment is the proper cours

    July 18, 2014

  • Celebrate the renovated bandshell? Yes, but... I attended the ribbon cutting for the renovated bandshell on July 1. I was a proud member of the Vision 8 team that enabled the project. However, the previous Friday night, June 27, I was also a member of the cast of “Annie Get Your Gun.”When the Nat

    July 18, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook