Acquired: Wild caught / rehabilitation animal,
Rescue / shelter organization,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Ohio, United States
Posted Aug 22, 2015
Reticulated Pythons are snakes capable of reaching 25+ feet and in some areas, require permits if over 12 feet. Know your laws before considering purchasing one of these giants!
If you aren't someone who can provide a large amount of space for this animal, you may have to consider other options for a pet. They will eventually need a custom built enclosure because a tank simply won't be able to give them enough room and can easily be broken/cracked from their weight.
You must understand snake body language well to raise one of these giants; ending up with an aggressive Reticulated Python can easily result in a trip to the hospital. As they get larger, it's important to socialize them with people and have them understand you are not there to hurt them or be a nuisance. At the reptile rescue I volunteer at, there is a 14 foot female who was not held by her previous owner as he feared her and she became nervous around people. When owning one of these pythons, don't fear them; these intuitive snakes can pick up on that and will be more afraid.
It's a good idea to have more than just yourself living with you if you own a large Reticulated Python, if it happens to escape you may need an extra person to assist you in lifting it. It takes a minimum of three people to carry the python at the rescue! Even with that many people it's challenging!
These snakes have an EXTREMELY heavy feeding response and that gives them a poor reputation. I've taught my pythons to know the difference between feeding time and handling time by tapping them on the head when I want to handle them. Doing so, it lets them know they aren't going to get fed so they won't instinctively bite what is warm (your hand).
They need either a heating mat or light in the enclosure and humidity is important as well. If they're looking cloudy and about to shed, spray once or twice a day. I've noticed doing that helps them shed in one piece and have a clean shed.
All in all, this is an advanced snake and requires a dedicated owner who is willing to either get permits if needed and who has the space as well as patience for handling. These are one of my favorite pythons and are most definitely very rewarding if you do your part well!