Adopted a Central American Boa

TiffanyMariexo

New Member
Well it's evil.... I brought it home yesterday. Couple years old. Always been handled ... Even when I picked him up to put him in the cage he was very friendly. Now all he does is strike. Bit me, my fiancé and neighbor. You can barley walk by the cage without him trying to launch. Just wondering why this behavior is being displayed. Kids have handled it a lot too
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
This is just my personal opinion of course, but that's why I don't like this species lol. I've HAD a couple and have cared for hundreds of them over the years and I just find them to be the pissiest snake.

Buuut, that doesn't mean there's no hope. Can you tell us a bit about how she's set up now, maybe with a photo? It'll give me more to go on. But perhaps she's just settling in and feels stressed/unnerved by the sudden change. If you only got her yesterday she still has a lot of change to adjust to.
 

TiffanyMariexo

New Member
Here snapped a quick picture
 

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Jupiter

Member
I'd lose that moss. Too absorbent and too much danger of ingestion. I would go with aspen or fir or newpaper
 

ChuWuti

Member
Hi, Tiffany,

Your boa is probably really stressed from the move into a new home situation. He doesn't feel at all secure because nothing smells familiar, so he's being very defensive. If you have dogs or cats, they can exacerbate the stress, but keep in mind that you are Godzilla to him, so he's nervous.

In general, it's best not to handle a new snake for the first week to give them time to adjust to the new smells and new setting. After that, begin handling gently and slowly to help him adjust.

For example, you might simply put your hand in the tank so he can smell you, then remove it. You might do that two or three times a day for a week, then move to touching the middle of his body without picking him up at the same pace. Gradually increasing the length of time you are touching him should help, then progress to lifting him just a little.

Basically, you just want to condition him first to your smell, then to your touch, then to you lifting him and holding him as he becomes accustomed to you and recognizes you for a source of food rather than as something that might want to eat him.

BTW, I personally haven't found boas all that pissy, but I do have a Honduran Milk Snake that is darned pissy!! It's made it very interesting trying to bag him to go to the safe room during tornadoes!

Good luck!

Sandy, aka Chu'Wuti, the Snake Woman
(I currently have a dozen snakes and do herp rescues mostly of snakes)
 

Trillian

New Member
I have minimal experience, having only had my rescued ball python a year, but are boas similar in terms of liking hides? Ball pythons are ridiculously timid, to the point that they will literally kill themselves by staying in a totally inappropriate hide (ie. too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry) just to feel secure. My girl has two hides, a warmish dry one closest to her under-tank-heat pad, and a more moist one on the cooler side of her tank. I have to make them both identical due to her pickiness... And she's outgrown them now, so I need to grade up... little porker...

But otherwise ChuWuti's ideas sound wonderful, and she has heaps of experience! I didn't handle my girl until a couple of weeks after we'd got her, and every time I change something in her viv I leave her be for a week or so to get used to it. I imagine they are like cats and need to feel ownership over things and get nervous with strangeness until they have had a chance to 'claim' it as their own.
 

ChuWuti

Member
Good points, Trillian! I think Tiffany does have one hide in the tank, but having a second one in the cool zone might be a good idea. However, arboreal snakes are not always as interested in hides as the terrestrial and ground-dwelling snakes, which definitely need them to feel secure.

As semi-arboreal snakes, boas need both ground-level hides and something to climb on that they can wrap themselves around. A strong branch with some concealing foliage could be a very helpful addition to this boa's habitat. That could be located under a basking lamp.

Some helpful information can be found here:

http://vpi.com/publications/boa_constrictor

http://www.theurbanboa.com/caring-boa-constrictor
 

TiffanyMariexo

New Member
Wow guys ! Thanks for the flood of great information :) we will be accessoring the tank for sure.. We just got it spur of the moment so were going to buy it some new things this week :) love the tips and info you guys are the best !!!!
 
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