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Burmese Python

Do you really want a snake that may grow more than 20 feet long or weigh 200 pounds, urinate and defecate like a horse, will live more than 25 years and for whom you will have to kill mice, rats and, eventually, rabbits (no chickens any more due to the ever increasing rate of Salmonella in the food industry)?

Many people think that when they decide they don't want their Burmese any more--when it gets to be 8 or 10 or 15 feet long--it will be easy to find someone who does. Take a look at the animal classifieds - they always have sale ads for big pythons. The zoo doesn't want any more - they already have one or more giant snakes from other people. The local herpetology societies and reptile veterinarians always have big pythons for whom they are trying to find homes. Burms are increasingly being abandoned at vets and animal shelters and are being euthanized for lack of proper homes for them. Breeders keep breeding them, however, because so many people are willing to buy these 'cool' giants...knowing full well that they will be dumped when 'too' big. At 10 feet and 40+ pounds, a 3-year old Burmese is already eating rabbits a couple of times a month and is very difficult to handle alone. You have to interact with them constantly to keep them tame - do you want a hungry, cranky 100 pound, 12 foot snake mistaking your face for prey? Who is going to help you clean its enclosure? take it to the vet when it's sick? take care of it when you go away to school or on vacation? No matter how much they love you, there are some things a mother, and your friends, will not do!

Owning a giant snake is not cool - it is a major, long-term, frequently very expensive responsibility. Housing an adult Burmese Python, even when you build your own vivariums as I do, does not come cheap. In the long term you MUST be prepared, not just to build a vivarium, but to give over part of a room to for it!

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