Call me oblivious, but what is everyone’s opinion on pet snakes? As my user-name suggest, I have a ball python that I purchased from PetSmart. I keep him in a 20 gal (long) tank with two heating lamps- one for day and one for night. I feed him two live hopper mice once a week, bu I’m working on training him to eat pre-killed and frozen/thawed mice. Unfortunately for you all, there is no manufactured snake food, and there isn’t going to be, but nonetheless, the mice aren’t for human consumption and it’s just a little less natural than what snakes do in the wild.
He is a pretty healthy snake though, and gentle as a lamb! 🙂 He has never bitten and lives his life otherwise peacefully with few disturbances, aside from gentle handling every day or every other day just to keep him familiar with humans and tame.
So what do you all think?
Frozen mice are still from the breeding colony, and are still killed and packaged. Does this sound familiar to you? The only difference is that snakes are carnivores and cannot digest anything from vegetation. And no, there are no ‘manufactured snake foods’ in the work. They simply cannot adjust to that. It would be a miracle if I can even switch a python from mice to rats.
Releasing any non-native reptiles in the U.S. is illegal and is a practice that should not be done. Burmese Python owners already- and quite falsely- received the blunt of attacks for such a practice by environmentalist. (Of course, little did they know that the invasive burmese pythons were actually the result of a facility destroyed in hurricane Andrew. Evidence to support this was that the pythons shared similar genetics which showed they were all closely related, and that no morphs were present. Most pet burms are a morph bred by breeders, so no, people weren’t releasing these snakes in the ‘glades.)
Also, releasing snakes into the wild for some reason gives the snakes a low chance of survival. They are familiar to being, safe, and pampered by their owner, and are not suited for the wild environment. They would become and easy kill for any human they come across, as they are adjusted to feel safe and secure around people. Also, more importantly, even reptiles released back to their native habitat may carry diseases that they are immune to from captivity and infect the native population, causing a pandemic among their species and possibly a local extinction effect. This has occurred before, in the case of gopher tortoises. Studies showed that gopher tortoises in captivity were quite immune of salmonella, but when pet owners started releasing them into the wild, they carried salmonella to the local populations and decimated their numbers. (If you don’t know, not all reptiles are immune to salmonella. Some are just as affected by it as humans are.) Lastly, as reptiles veer towards a domesticated status, (the first domesticated species of snake is the Corn Snake, and yes, I do mean domesticated) breeders are breeding snakes for unique color and patterns which just add to their beauty. (By the way, breeders work with other captive bred stock from other breeders, not reptiles ‘cruelly’ captured and shipped away from their native habitat. This practice is highly frowned upon in the reptile hobby.) These snakes, (and other reptiles) with their unnatural appearance, cannot camouflage or do whatever their pattern and colors are meant to do, and are more vulnerable to predation. So simply put, this makes life in the wild even harder for them.
Also, to be simple, failure to feed the snake is still animal abuse. Just because the mouse is cute doesn’t mean it can’t be food. If this bothers you, then tell animals to stop eating each other.
@mypetballpython -Actually, mice ARE still sold as pets, and many pet stores themselves say that they’ve sold these pet rodents to snake owners, so yes, they still do sell the same rodents for pets as for food.
And the concept of breeding animals TO BE food is wrong to me. It’s the reason why many of us are against the meat industry, why on Earth should we make an exception?
Like I said, I’d rather snake owners feed their mice FROZEN.
It’s not okay for a human to murder mice and feed them to a snake, nor is it okay to trap a mouse in a cage with a snake where is has no chance of escape.
Snakes are meant to eat mice but they are meant to do so in the wild where the mouse has a fair chance of escaping.
Consider having your snake professionally conditioned for release into a habitat similar to its natural habitat.
And, just FYI, there will be manufactured snake foods.
Snakes that eat mice do not swallow them alive, particularly my python and other pythons. They constrict the rodent and suffocate it, which is otherwise, a rather harmless way to go. Then they swallow it. Venomous snakes such as vipers and elapids use their venom to kill their prey before swallowing it. Most snakes kill their prey before eating it. The reason why they say not to feed live prey is because any of the older mice and rats may bite the snake while it constricts the mouse. Baby mice though, pose no threat.
No mice are eaten alive.
Also, mice are purely bred to be reptile food in these days. They are heavily bred and inbreeding often occurs. Then, while some are hunted by the snakes as live food, others are euthanised(with CO^2 gas chambers), frozen, and packaged like meat.
Mice aren’t often bought as pets anymore. They have been replaced by hamsters, gerbils, and rats as pets. As such, they farmed only for consumption by carnivorous pets.