Caring for boas

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Updated: 4/17/2007 1:07 pm
Most of the boas you find for sale will be listed as 'red-tailed' boas. While this is a definite species, the name is generically applied as a marketing term. The name 'boa constrictor' conjures up too many images of old jungle movies. All boas really are 'constrictors' which means they kill their prey by crushing it to death. If your snake wraps itself around your arm or neck, gently unwind it starting from the tail end, not the head. In captivity, young boas are usually fed pre-killed mice, which you can buy frozen. Be warned, as the snake gets bigger--and they can grow to ten feet or more--so does their appetite. Soon you could be feeding them rabbits. If the thought of a hungry snake gobbling down Thumper bothers you, a boa probably isn't the right pet. Like any large animal, boas require a lot of room. A large aquarium tank may be okay for a young one, but you can plan on building a fairly huge enclosure eventually. They're also master escape artists. You can expect to spend a fair amount of time wondering where your pet has slithered off to. If you're willing to commit a fair amount of time and money to its care, a boa will get used to being around you, and can eventually become an affectionate pet.
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