Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Posted Jun 19, 2015
Of all my snakes, the amazon tree boas probably scare me the most. Even though they are captive bred and have been worked with since babies, they are still unpredictable and prone to striking with little warning. They have large teeth and I have been bitten by one before - it left a fairly decent bruise and cut surprisingly deep, although with a bit of antiseptic it healed quickly.
The personality alone makes me say these are not for the beginner reptile keeper. They need a confident handler who has some experience reading snake body language and isn't going to panic if they are aggressive.
Personality aside I think this is a really nice looking species - even the "garden phase" come in a variety of browns and speckled greys, but if you want a nice display, pay the extra for a red or orange specimen.
They're not really handleable even if you get one that's quite docile, they are fairly fragile, very slender snakes that live their entire lives in the trees, so are quite awkward to get out of a tank and handle, although it's doable. They need a tall enclosure with tons of branches in it and then they will happily sit out in the open. They're a very alert species and will watch you and what you're doing very intently. They're pretty hardy and do well in captivity so can often be found captive bred.
If you're a more experienced reptile keeper looking for a nice display, that's not as delicate or hard to look after as the other species of tree boa, then an ATB may be the right snake for you.