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Old 11-02-03, 04:59 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul-2002
Location: Ontario
Age: 44
Posts: 791
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First the larger issue here was not that the person in question was feeding his ball every month but why. The simple fact he did to control growth rate was what made him grossly irresponsible and an unethical herp keeper. Secondly, Ontario Herper I will answer your question. The reason why your ball python is still alive. My first guess would be you haven't had it that long. But on a more educated level that will also tie into Vanan's point on caloric input/output is the fact that it has adjusted it's activity level to comprimise for it's diet. By restricting it's activity levels it can slow it's metabolism so that it's meager food supply lasts longer. This is a well documented fact in many reptiles, ball pythons included. So although a ball could go very long periods without food (i had a WC rescure go nearly a year) that does NOT mean it is getting an adequate supply of aminos and nutrients to ensure good immune function and general health. It may not "look" unhealthy but that doen't mean it isn't. You claim it will live a long good life well it may quite awhile but not to good considering with a complete lack of proper diet it's instinct will be to barely ever move. Think what you want you will anyway, but feeding an adult ball python once every 4-6 weeks is poor husbandry at best. Every 10-12 days for an adult seems much more reasonable. Plus comparing your captive snake to one in the wild is a completely futile comparison considering one of the major points of captive husbandry is to provide optimal conditions for the herp in question not recreate an already under par/over competitive wild type life style. Have you ever seen a WC snake...if this is your version of a healthy snake then you have no right to be a herper. I do not know you or your snake so realize this is my opinion not an attack on so take it or leave but I feel it's my duty as a herper and an educator to tell you my view. Any less would be irresponsible on my part. I am not an uneducated herp keeper I have done my research and continue to study and learn everyday. I concede the point that just because something works doesn't make it right but we cannot use an overstressed grossly inadequate eco system as a basis for what is proper for our animals. Since becuase of us (humans) the wild is no longer an adequate system for these animals. Ball pythons are opportunistic feeders...true..but why? Because loss of habitat and competetion for food has driven them to that. That doesn't mean it healthy for them. For an example I refer you to a ball python kept at the Philadelphia Zoo that lived 45 years in captivity...refer to their web site and you will see it's feeding regimen was every 7-10 days. I'm sure many more successful ball keepers could supply you with countless more examples of balls exceeding ten years in age following a more conventional feeding schedule.
"Only through education do we teach the ignorant that which we love is not evil but wonderous"....

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