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Old 09-07-03, 12:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
elevation24's Avatar
Join Date: Jun-2003
Location: Northern California
Age: 33
Posts: 395
It's not so much a matter of handling but rather how often you are handling and for how long.

It's really funny that you mention this because I just got through handling my female ball python a bit and when I put her away I thought to myself how much she <i>seems</i> to enjoy being out and about. I take her out 2-3 times a week for maybe 10-15 minutes at a time and she seems to enjoy it. Perhaps enjoyment is a difficult emotion to detect in a snake but she absolutely does not sit still and hope that I don't see her. She goes everywhere, inspects everything, and she doesn't seem to have a problem with being handled. I don't take my male out so much yet because he's very nippy as I haven't even had him for a month yet. Last night was the first time I handled him much at all and it was for less than 10 minutes, some of which was spent weighing him (this was the reason I took him out in the first place). He was acting very defensive for a few minutes but he seemed to "calm down" soon and I sat down for a few minutes with him and he began exploring my desk.

But of course they don't need human intervention. If they can live in the wild without it they can certainly live captive without it. But you must remember that the conditions they live in in the wild are much different than in captivity, especially the amount of space in which they can move.

I handle my snakes because they are "pets". I am not a breeder or a huge collector or anything else, I don't have them so they can be on display or any other reason except that I have them because I enjoy them, I enjoy caring for them, and to enjoy them even more I'd like to be able to take them out every so often for short periods of time. Whether they actually like it or not is not something you can say for sure. You can say that they are stressed, and maybe they are, I really don't know but because they all eat fine, shed fine, and everything else, all signs would have to point to no, they are not stressed.
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