My Baby :)
Thought I'd upload a couple pics of my big baby Pearl the Argentine Boa Constrictor while waiting for my tank's water tests to set. Sorry about the feeding pics - she's usually quite camera shy and likes to hang out in one of her hides (If it's any better, the rats I feed are pre-killed - much more humane for both Pearl and the rat). Pearl's a rescue who's around ten years old that wasn't able to keep a steady home until I got her when she was around seven - The people I got her from claimed she'd been through four or more homes. She came to me underweight, refusing food, and with a respitory infection.
Dispite the scars (literally - she has scars from when she was fed live food in previous homes and the rat didn't want to be eaten and on her snout from rubbing it against the walls of a too-small enclosure) she bears, she's awesome. I do educational programs with her both on the importance of responsible pet ownership and on conservation/habitat destruction (she's a captive bred pet, but part of a subspecies that is highly endangered in the wild due to habitat distruction and hunting for skin) and she is absoultely wonderful to work with - There've been little kids sneak up behind her and I and grab her around her midsection and she doesn't even flinch.
And her 4'Hx6'Lx2'D enclosure that isn't exactly as picured any more - I've moved some stuff around and added a couple light fixtures.
Thanks! I just have to look at it as the circle of life and that the animals I get as feeders were bred for this purpose, similar to feeder goldfish. I have to feed pinky mice on occasion too to my bearded dragon... That's tough. It took me awhile to be able to do it without dying of guilt. But as long as they're in my care, they are respected as living beings and treated as such.
They're not domesticated, either. Pearl may be conditioned to know that people don't mean her harm, I still treat her as a wild animal. That's why I personally believe that for most species, people should need to apply for a permit in order to keep them. Its irresponsable owners that give herp owners a bad name - and why the US federal gov't is in the process of passing a law that will make it a federal offense to take certain species of snakes (burmese python, reticulated python, and african rock python, other species are currently in question as to whether they will be added). This is a huge problem for me - if the boa constrictor is added to the list, it will be a federal offense to take my kid to the vet because I live on the Iowa/Illinois border with my vet over state lines. Keeping I mind that the nearest vet I'd trust in Illinois is three hours away in Chicago.
But I completely understand your feelings!
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You are a responsible snake owner, that is clear. After what is going on in Florida, with the release of "pet" snakes, I'm glad you are well informed. It's funny, but we have a leopard gecko, and I do raise roaches for food, but I still have to turn my head when he eats them. But like you, I remind myself that they are part of a food chain. I treat them with respect and care, while they are with me. Glad to hear you do the same.
very nice snake,and awesome enclosure !
i have a couple of reptiles,and they have their live food,i don't mind,unless they escape that is.
Thank you :) I love her cage, except for when she decides to poop in the center part, which makes it a pain in the rear to clean up properly!
To each his/her own on live feeding, it's all in what you're comfortable with!
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