Madera, California, United States
Posted Aug 23, 2015
Please be aware that I had this pet as a child. I'm putting down that he (she?) was easy to care for, but to be honest my mom took care of him. As I recall, we had lots of kingsnakes in the back yard and the gully behind the back yard, and we caught several of them, and we were allowed to play with them and kept this one in the house. My mom bought mice for him.
These snakes are absolutely beautiful to look at. You have to know the markings so you don't confuse them with a poisonous snake, as part of their defense in the wild is to imitate the look of a coral snake. Fortunately, our mom knew the difference. Also, in our region of California, it would have been very rare or impossible for us to encounter a coral.
I am so glad I got to have this pet. He was so sweet and would wrap himself around your hand or arm. We were taught to respect all of nature because of this wonderful pet. We even learned at a young age that some animals eat other animals, and I think that was healthy for us. We were not allowed to play with the mice, but we were allowed to have pet rats, and had a series of those.
None of us have ever had a fear of snakes as a result, and know to get information before assuming a snake is either a helpful snake that keeps the rodent population at bay OR a poisonous snake that should be avoided or removed. We know that snakes are not slimy, but cool and pleasant to the touch. We know that they shed their skins from time to time and that it's normal and natural. We even know what a snake skeleton looks like, as we collected one from the yard!
Overall, I totally recommend getting a pet snake from a store for your kids and teaching them how to be gentle with a pet and keep the cage clean. It will make them much better pet owners in the future and help them love and understand the huge variety of animals on this planet. :)