Some snake admirers firmly believe that there is no such thing as “too much snake” and while I wish they were right they aren’t. But what is meant by too much snake? It’s actually a number of things. Size is a common one, initial cost is another. There are several and this article is geared towards helping you identify when you might be getting yourself too much snake.
- Size of the snake
- We’ll start with the obvious first. The size of the snake is a huge issue. You have to be physically capable of handling the snake you get. Constrictors are incredibly strong, and fast. The larger they get the stronger they get. Aside from being able to protect yourself and others from it you also need to be able to move it around. A 50 pound snake that doesn’t want to go somewhere isn’t going to be easy to move for anyone.
- Size of housing
- If you have the capacity to physically handle large snakes that’s great, but if you don’t have the room for the snake itself why bother? Even if you have the room now consider what it will look like in 6 months, a year, 3 years, 5 years…
A month ago I went to pick up a snake and instead of getting what I had planned on and had the space for I got a burmese python. It dawned on me that night that even though she was only 18 inches at the time in very short order she’d be huge and I had no place to keep her. I took her back and they were gracious enough to let me return her with a 25% restocking fee. I say gracious because they were under no obligation. Their policy clearly stated No returns except for health reasons.
- People, and other pets
- Consider what other people and pets might be around the snake. Your cat might not appreciate a 10 foot long boa cruising around the house. Likewise spouses, children, roommates, and the sort might not share you affection for large (or small snakes).
- A venemous snake is too much for anyone who isn’t properly trained in handling them. I used to catch rattlesnakes for “fun” on lunch break when I worked out in the woods in Oregon. It wasn’t so much fun when I finally got bit. Fortunately I was with several other people and we worked in the emergency services so getting medical help was very timely. I had caught and handled over a hundred Timber Rattlers by the time this happened, but I had no idea what I was doing and I paid for it. Healthwise I’m fine with no side effects but it could have very easily been different.
Whatever snake you get and whatever reason you have for getting it be sure you aren’t getting too much snake for you.