There is one male ball python at the Zoo. He was born in 2009 and came to the Seneca Park Zoo in 2013.
Ball pythons are considered threatened in the wild. They are a highly-exploited species and are very important to the pet trade because of their beautiful skin. The ball python mates only every two to three years, so more effort is needed to protect and propagate this species.
The ball python lives in western and central Africa. They can be found in open forests and dry savannas. Usually they reside in areas near open water where they can cool themselves during hot weather.
Ball pythons feed primarily on rodents, but will also eat other small mammals and birds. Ball pythons only eat once every few weeks; they can go up to several months with no food.
The name ball came from its tendency, when stressed, to curl into a tight “ball” with their heads hidden inside, often for long periods of time!
Due to its limited size, these snakes are becoming increasingly common in the pet trade.
Females tend to be slightly bigger than males.
Sometimes these are referred to as ‘royal pythons’ due to the story that Cleopatra supposedly wore a ball python around her wrist.
Pythons also have the tendency to hiss loudly when threatened.