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Snakes/strange male boa behavior


QUESTION: So I've been working with my new male boa,I took notice that each day after our 1 on 1 interaction,I put him back in his container and he climbs in his water bowl and soaks for a few minutes.Have you heard such a thing?I've had a few snakes and never seen this.My hands don't have anything on them.Any idea why he soaks in his bowl after being handled?Thnks

ANSWER: Most of my boas think they are anacondas, lol, they prefer their bowls over anything and were not to happy when I gave them smaller bowls (to prevent to much soaking and scale rot). Its been said that a boa will retreat to water when they are stressed or threatened, this could be what he is doing. Another reason could be due to him having mites, they are tiny black bugs that look like beetles or fleas. Wipe your hand all over him over a paper towel or a light colored counter, if black specks fall off him and they are moving or have legs, then he has mites and needs to be treated. I would say since he is young and you just got him that he is stressed. Did you let him settle in for a week before you began holding him?
Although snakes are hardy animals and I am not one to make them seem delicate, their first month home is very important. He needs/needed to be left alone for at LEAST a week, then offer him food, if he eats then great, if not don't get flustered just yet. Once he has eaten you can wait 2-3 days and then you can begin holding him (let him digest some). Just reach in and scoop him up, don't stare at him or stroke him or hover, it can aggravate them and will give them time to strike and even bite you. If he does not eat when offered food then leave him alone until he does eat.
 Also I wouldn't hold him at least 12 hours prior to feeding him, some snakes are picky and if they are bothered to close to a meal they may refuse to eat. Also don't hold him to much, snakes really don't enjoy our presence, they just accept it and when they are tired of it they will for sure let you know. I wouldn't hold him more than 45 min to an hour each day. Also does he have a hide box? Snakes will always find a spot to run to when they feel scared or threatened and usually its a small, dark place. If he does not have one I would get him one. Even if you get a little plastic container and wrap the outside in dark tape and then cut a opening in it for him, that will work and may keep him calmer and out of his bowl.

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QUESTION: I forgot to mention he's albino.I don't see mites on him,on his papertowels,or in his waterbowl.He eats regular for me.He has a dark hide but don't use it.He has me stumped.Thanks

If he is eating good, has no mites and your temps are good then I wouldn't worry. I would still say its due to him feeling stressed after being held. If he is eating well, isn't losing weight and he does not have any visual signs of illness (wheezing, mucus, bubble blowing, regurgitating) then I would not say it is due to a illness or to anything on your person. I use germ x ALL day, anytime I switch to a new snake I rub some on me and it does not bother them in anyway. I wouldn't worry about him if he were my snake (unless any of the above happen). You would for sure see some mites on him if that were the issue.
  I would check your temps and humidity though. If he has a hide and does not use it, it could be because his temps are not correct. When I used to use tanks I would put the hide in the middle of the tank (between the hot and cool side) and had the water on the hot side. It kept it humid in there and I didn't have to spray it. But snakes will not use their hide if its to hot or to cold so check all that. But again I wouldn't worry about his behavior.


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Amber Barrett


I can answer any and all questions about snakes, whether its how to pick the right snake for your needs and wants, eating and temperature issues, health problems ( I can not give a diagnosis or make up for vetrinary treatment but can give options on what to do). I can also answer any questions on breeding snakes, what it entitles, what you can expect, I know quite a bit about any products for snakes and their husbandry.


I currently keep over 150 snakes, I keep everything from ball pyhtons, to retics to green tree pythons. I have been around them my whole life due to a family interest in breeding them. I have researched, purchased, and delt with just about every snake, product and issue you can run into.

Although I do not have a degree in herpatology, I have been around snakes my whole life and through books, research and life I know alot about them.

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