why do some of you own snakes?

Discussion in 'General Snakes' started by smokiez, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. smokiez

    smokiez Embryo

    Just curious. As far as pets go, there is no owner recognition & they act entirely on instinct. The majority of people own them because they are either fascinated with the species or because it’s just “cool” to own one? A lot of reptiles can be tamed, but even reptiles (like dragons or monitors) that are tamed are tamed to humans, not necessarily the owner. As much as some would like to think, snakes aren’t tamed at all (to humans or anything else).

    I asked a python owner at a store once, while he was holding his python, that if he was to stretch out his hand, would the python climb up because he recognizes that it is the owners hand, or because its just an object for it to climb on, and the response was: its just an object for him to climb on.

    If the majority of people that own snakes do so because they are fascinated and respect the species then how come so many are abandoned because the owners either lose interest or can’t properly house them as adults? If that’s such a common outcome, then the majority of owners must be those who simply think its “cool” to own a snake, with out understanding any of the responsibilities involved.

    Which group do you fall in to? :?: :wink:

    Countless owners on this forum are housing snakes in inadequate habitats (whether it is tank size or other general requirements). Pictures are worth a 1000 words, and I sometimes wonder why people post pictures of their huge pet python in a cage that’s big enough to house the rat they are about to pounce on.
  2. Ash19

    Ash19 Embryo

    Some ppl are just irresponsible like that. It doesn't mean EVERYONE is and no one deserves to own a reptile. If you KNOW you're responsible and can handle them, then why not? I know I am. I have the room, the income, the responsibility. So I own a corn snake. Not cause it's "cool" but because I do in fact respect them. I find them fascinating. Who doesn't? They also make great pets, whther they recognize their owner or not. Especially for ppl with pet allergies. Can you be allergic to a snake? Or to any reptile?
  3. smokiez

    smokiez Embryo

    That is a valid point. My fiancee is indeed allergic to cats, dogs & birds, and part of the reason why we own dragons is for that exact reason.
  4. Yeah. I have allergies to anything with fur, so I got geckos. Loved them. My brother has always wanted a snake since he was little, and we finally convinced my parents to let us get one. We take excellent care of her, and are just facinated by what she can do. And she does sorta recognize us. Always wants to come back to one of us when someone else is handleing her. It was hard for my art instructor to handle her when she kept on reaching back over to me even though his hands were infront and around her.

    I find it so interesting how they move with no legs, can eat huge things. Having any reptile has been a huge learning curve for me.
  5. Ash19

    Ash19 Embryo

    Me too! I don't regret getting my corn for a second! And yes, it is neat how they move witho no legs. I put mine around my neck sometimes and I can feel every muscle moving when he moves. It's awesome!
    smokiez, thank you for noticing! :D :wink:
  6. smokiez

    smokiez Embryo

    Interesting. :D

    If anything I think your gecko is recognizing your sent (or a characteristic other then your physical appearance). I guess that’s considered a unique form of owner recognition. But for the record I don’t know a single thing about geckos (other then knowing that some can lay some massive eggs [in proportion to their size]).
  7. No the recognizing bit is from my snake - I think its smell for them. Geckos run away from me.
  8. And from home (gecko). But I have noticed that our snake really does recognize us. She is apprehensive at times to go see my Mom.
  9. Rocky

    Rocky Embryo

    I find snakes very interesting, I am fascinated by them, and respect them. I have 2 beardies and yes they recognize me but Jewel (my ball python) recognizes me as well. If my mom or dad are holding her she always looks for me. )My sister cant be bothered with repitiles lol) I also find it very interesting how they eat huge things and move with no legs. I plan on breeding ball pythons not because I think its "cool" to own them, but because I am fascinated by them and it is a great hobby. And not for the money, but for the love and passion of them.
  10. smokiez

    smokiez Embryo

    Interesting that a few people are saying that the snake is recognizing the owner in one way or another. I just came across a thread (http://www.reptilerooms.com/forumtopic-17330.html) & it looks like a section of this topic was alredy discussed.

    I guess in this particular case, anecdotal evidence may be the only account of snake intelligence towards their owners. With out these examples one is left to believe that owners are simply suffering from placebo.
  11. Janice

    Janice Embryo

    I have to say, when we got out first Ball Python, it was because it was cool (this is a pet my boyfriend wanted). Since having him, I have become quite fascinated with snakes, and now own 6. I love the fact that we are exposing our 4 boys to the world of reptiles, and there will be 4 less people in the world afraid of snakes.
  12. Axe

    Axe Embryo

    To a point I agree with you that they act primarily on instinct, but they can definitely distinguish one person from another, IMHO. Like any other species of animal, it all depends on how they're raised. If you want to take an animal that's particularly well known for recognizing their owners, just look at dogs. But if you then look at wild-raised dogs (wolves, dingos, etc) they just see "human".

    We've seen it in beardies. We've had dragons that love Cheri, and will "tolerate" me, and some that love me and will "tolerate" Cheri. We had one girl that would let me do ANYTHING with her, but absolutely HATED Cheri. She'd come running towards the end of the tank when I entered the room, try to climb the glass and beg for me to pick her up, but she wouldn't even let Cheri feed her. If Cheri tried to give her food, she'd just snub her nose and walk off. If Cheri tried to pick her up, you didn't even wanna see it, heh.

    Personally, I'm one of those that's absolutely fascinated by snakes. I've worked with all kinds of colubrids, boas, pythons and hots. Cobras scared the crap out of me the first time I came face-to-face with one (they still do), but they're an EXTREMELY fascinating and intelligent animal to observe. Of course, I don't keep any myself (not a risk I'd ever take with children in the house).

    As to why I keep one species over another, that's a "cool" factor. All snakes are fasinating in their own way, whether it's a tiny lil ringneck, or a huge anaconda or retic. But I'd rather have a Dumeril's or Argentine boa, or a D'Albert's Python, than a garter or water snake.

    It's about knowing your limits too. Many people get burms, rocks, retics and anacondas, not fully understanding what a 15ft+ snake actually looks like (or how strong it is, the size enclosure it'll need, or how much it'll cost to feed at that size). And even those that do, they figure "Great, I'll get a BCI", and still don't realize how big they can potentially get, or how long they can live with good care. Again with the iguanas, they see that cute lil $10 baby in the pet store, not realizing it'll eat them out of house and home, require huge expensive enclosures when it grows up, and can go through $200/mo in salads. By the time they do realize it, it's too late, and they end up in rescues.

    I've recently been getting into the BCI's myself. I've been researching them for the past 2-3 years, so understand how big they can get (and how big they usually get), what kind of enclosures they're going to need, etc. I just acquired my first boas at the Daytona show in August. For several reasons, I went with breeders rather than simply acquiring some from rescues.

    I wanted to know I was getting good quality healthy animals. I didn't want to get a couple of these and potentially end up with huge medical bills. We take in enough rescues each year as it is that cost us a couple of grand a year in vet bills.

    Also, I definitely believe there's a stronger bond between the animal and you if you've raised it yourself from a young age. If you get one from a rescue that's been abused or neglected, quite often they're absolute nutcases that just can't wait to rip your face off. Another risk you don't want to take with kids in the house.

    And, you just don't find albino boas & hets in rescues (at least, not often. If somebody's going to spend $1500 on a snake, usually they know what they're doing). :D
  13. iLLwiLL

    iLLwiLL Embryo

    i've been into exotic pets my whole life. when i was younger, my father and myself had a great collection of cichlids, but he ended up moving to NYC and couldnt take them with him. also, i grew up living with an iguana living in my room that would perch on my drapes and wander around my room free during the day.

    later in life, after i got out of college i started getting back into the fish scene with cichlids mostly to start, then i got into piranhas and snakeheads. about a month after getting my first a savannah monitor i ended up moving across the country for business and couldn't take any pets with me.

    now that i'm all setup, have a great steady job, a girlfriend that is almost as crazy as i am about snakes, and am renting a 3 bedoom house (for the time being) i'm moving into the bigger boa species. snakes are easy for me to take care of compared to some of the other hobbies I was into, and they are fascinating animals.

  14. iLLwiLL

    iLLwiLL Embryo

    heh, thats wild, axe and myself bought our first boas on the exact same day at the same show . . . weird.

  15. Radagast

    Radagast Embryo

    I dont agree that these animals dont know their owners...Just like any animal the familiar smell is more comforting then the unknown...My blue tongue knows me well..He will deliberately avoid my kids hands and come to me..If he is outside in the grass and something happens to scare him he comes to me.He will come out of his cage on his own to me but will huff and puff at anyone else...The snakes are more subtle but its there as well..My kingsnake doesnt seem to care nor my younger corn but my bp and my older corn know my scent and prefer me to others.....My boa I have been pushing for everyone to handle as much as possible so I havent noticed this with her...

    I dont think that any of my snakes are particularly attached to me, they would leave in a hotflash if left unattended..But I do think that lizards are much more aware/intelligent and have much more personality...

    Why do I own them? Cause they are cool/awesome I think they are interesting and love the feel of them,I have always loved reptiles since I was a wee one...Im 41 and still love them and couldnt really tell you why.........Anyway more dogs and cats are abandoned then reptiles its just one of those human things that are unfair and unjust but happens..
  16. iLLwiLL

    iLLwiLL Embryo

    very good point. some people are the same with fish, only instead of culling them or trying to find a better home, they just release them into the wild. thats how the whole snake head epidemic happened in maryland (i think) someone prob bought a pair or a trio of cobra snakeheads as youngsters and when they got too big for him to handle he just threw them in a local pond where they thrived and ate everything in sight . . . then walked to the next body of water and did the same.

    down in florida you can catch all kinds of tropical non-indigenous (sp?) species. i've caught a couple oscars in the few times i went fishing in freshwater, its really sad.

  17. Radagast

    Radagast Embryo

    Does anyone have an Idea of how many people on this board will still own the same pet/reptiles in 5yrs,10yrs or even 20yrs? I would hope more than half..
  18. Janice

    Janice Embryo

    I am looking forward to having my reptiles that long! I think that is one of the fascinations with reptiles, they live longer than cats and dogs.
  19. Radagast

    Radagast Embryo

    It will be kinda neat to have a 20yo ball python, hopefully he will live to ripe old age with me..Gads I will be 60 when he is that old, maybe he will outlive me, who knows? I know my blue tongue can get that old as well, Im not too sure about the boa. Corns dont live quite as long as 20yrs, im thinking more like 10 or 15?
  20. It is kind of nice to see a thread like this started. I am pretty new to this forum yet I have been up and down it, mainly because of the excitement of being able to chat with everyone about any kind of reptile. Its nice to see some people actually talking about the actual snakes and how they got involved in them. I grew up as a kid catching and releasing snakes, lizards turtles etc. Pretty much the same as all other little boys at that age would. Once I got to the point where I was old enough and intelligent about them enough I purchased my first snake. It was a male ball python, I still have him. He is about 3 years old, and doing awesome. I have had many other snakes also, and am just at awe at how they move, eat, drink, sleep, everything. Everything a snake does in life is a hassle, there is not one thing he can do easily. The Bible says the snake was cursed when adam and eve bit into the apple, yet they still manage today. I have more respect for a snake than any animal on the planet. Its hard to put into words how fascinating these creatures truly are. There fascination to us is why we keep them as pets. You can't really "cuddle" with a 7ft red-tail, but you can respect him and learn from him. what more is there to say?

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