May 2010

Q: AHH! wild Dumeril's boa!!

Q: I just got a Dumerils boa, I've never had a boa constrictor before, just ball pythons. All of my ball pythons are extremely mellow, you can hold them while doing anything. This boa is veryy unpleasant. He bites constantly, you can barely get him out of the cage without sustaining multiple wounds, although he is small, id like to tackle this before it becomes a larger problem. While holding him he doesn't calm down, with every move of something he strikes..
Is there any way to tame these snakes? Or are some just way more aggresive. I'm a very nervous person, and I know, I was kind of neglectful in my new snakes choice, but I'd really like to keep him and give him a good home. 

So does anyone have any tips on how to tame this snake, he is still very young so I'm hopeful that there is something I can do, doubled with holding him a lot that might make him docile in the near future. 

A: My two cents is to ditch the leather gloves.  I tried gloves once way back when and my nippy snakes settled down pretty quickly, but as soon as my gloves came off though, theirs did too.  It's important that the snake gets used to your scent and the sensation of your hands.  If you can take a bite or two (and it sounds like you already have!), I'd suck it up until he settles down and gets comfortable with you.  On a side note (and at the risk of opening a long-debated can of worms), I wouldn't feed him in a separate enclosure.  Program his brain to accept food in his cage, then remove him with a hook for handling.  While he's still young, teach him never to expect food outside his cage and you'll be far less likely to sustain a bite in the future. - BJW