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Getscared   ShadowAceD   Getscared   Fairy Frog Mother   Getscared   Alanderson1  

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 Need an attitude adjustment.

So I got a 2010 baby boa. I have had him for about 4 months. he is 20/25 inches long.
He kept hidden for the first few months of his life. I let him be for the most part, waiting til he got a bit more confidence to handle him. Ive been handling him about once a week for a couple minutes at a time for a while and he has always been just fine. Today i cleaned his cage as usual. no big deal.

I just walked by his cage to take a picture of my ball python next to him and he was flipping out. He struck at me unprovoked twice. I set the camera down in front of his cage and let it film for the next few minutes as i mosied around my room cleaning and he was NOT a happy snake. tail whipping, hissing and striking.
Do they normally have such quick tempers as they get older? this is my first boa (ive had lots of pythons) and my first time raising a baby snake. I can NOT have a 10 foot aggressive snake in the future.
so my question is

do i handle him even though he is pissed? or what? I dont wanna stress him out and i dont want to make his aggression worse. how do i get him tamed down? This is the first aggression he has ever shown, its even hard to get him to feed sometimes.

also how long before i decide he is just going to be an aggressive snake and consider giving him to a more experienced handler?

01/16/11  11:00pm


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  Message To: Getscared   In reference to Message Id: 2198857

 Need an attitude adjustment.

In the boa’s eye, it was provoked, just so you know.

A boa is a wild animal, captive bred or not. They have good days and they have bad days. I have five year olds that still have days where they just decide they want to strike the glass and be jerks.

There are a lot of things that can factor into the boa being agitated:
-Getting Ready to Shed
-Improper Temps/Humidity
-Stress from Lack of Hides, Mites, RI, etc. etc.

Given that he is hard to get to feed sometimes, I am thinking something is going on wrong with his husbandry that you may not be aware of. Can you get pics of the enclosure as well as state the temps on the cool side, the hot side, the ambient and the humidity levels?

But ... If you know all of these things are not a factor, then just assume it’s being a jerk. I would not handle it if it is continously hitting the glass, but I have two yearlings that I have to take a nip from almost every time I move to handle them.

Now, the thing I will say I am a bit annoyed to see in your post is you asking when is the moment you should just assume it aggressive and give it to someone else. If you are not prepared to handle the possibility that a boa constrictor can have an attitude, you should not have gotten one. These are not ball pythons (I’m assuming a bit here those are the pythons you have experience with because Burmese and Retic Pythons tend to have far worse attitudes than boas) and they are not corn snakes. They get large and they are more high strung. That is their nature.

When you take an animal into your home, reptile or mammal, you are supposed to be making commitment to that animal, not just keeping it while it is fun to handle and getting rid of it when it is not.

Just my opinion on the matter.

01/17/11  12:33pm


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  Message To: ShadowAceD   In reference to Message Id: 2198952

 Need an attitude adjustment.

Obviously it was provoked in his eye otherwise he would not have done it. Unprovoked meant I was not messing with him or paying attention to him ofcourse.

I realize they have bad and good days. All animals do. I am asking about the general temperment of a growing boa. Generally a ball python will be nippy and tame down. So i was asking what the general temperment of a boa would be.

As for feeding I only have trouble getting him to eat f/t. He will eat live, he takes awhile to think about whether or not he should do it or not. He is generally a timid snake.

I didnt say that i would just give it to someone else. I want to know how easily they normally tame down to a point where he will not be a danger. Some animals are just aggressive and dont like to be messed with. I dont have the experience for an overly aggressive large snake. I know that I dont. This Boa was not a purchase, it was a rescue. If I find that I cant handle it the RESPONSIBLE thing to do would be to relinquish the snake to someone with more experience than I. You just assume that I only want it while it is fun. I dont mind having a snake that doesnt want to be handled. I like snakes with a spark in their personality and I dont mind having an aggressive one unless, in this case, I know it can grow to be able to KILL me if it wants.

He is very healthy but I will check my temps and work on raising the humidity as its hard to keep it up in a screen top tank (Im saving up for a couple of cages from Monstercages)

The other snakes i have experience handling are yes ofcourse, Ball pythons and corns. Also adult burmese, carpet pythons, and rats/kings/etc. Ive never had a boa before and I have never raised a young snake before.

(I got the boa from a 20 year old idiot kid who bought the snake and a dog from someone on craigslist then got kicked out of their house. Thankfully the snake was found by me because it would no longer be alive with its previous owner. Im learning as I go with him.)

All that aside, thank you for the bit of input on their temperment. I am prepared to handle the occasional mood swings and fully willing to put time into taming him. I am not prepared however, to keep him if he is going to be a danger everytime I need to clean out his cage once he gets larger.

I got him out today and he was fine so I guess something triggered him yesterday and just pissed him off. Maybe I took him offgaurd when I came into the room or something.

01/17/11  09:07pm


Fairy Frog Mother
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  Message To: Getscared   In reference to Message Id: 2199049

 Need an attitude adjustment.

It sounds to me as if you have a defensive rather than agressive snake.

If your humidity and temps are correct you might try putting a view block between his tank and the one next to him, and half way around the side of the tank. Construction paper and tape will do even- just so it feels it has more privacy.

01/18/11  01:52pm


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  Message To: Fairy Frog Mother   In reference to Message Id: 2199185

 Need an attitude adjustment.

I believe you are correct. I was using the wrong word, it was clear he was feeling threatened. Thanks for the tip! I will take your advice. Im going to put a few more fake plants in too, for extra security. (lol watch now Im going to go all out on his cage like I did on my Cresties :P. Once I start decorating them I cant stop lol)

01/18/11  03:17pm


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  Message To: Getscared   In reference to Message Id: 2199049

 Need an attitude adjustment.

I also adopted my big baby Redtail Bobby as a rescue from a 20 year old kid who had bought her to show off, just like I’ve seen in a previous post, she was very thin, starving and striking at him, that was 4 years ago at the time of this post (5/2016) She was 4 foot long and in a 40 gallon Viv, well, I’d had a couple Boas when I was young, (that kids age, I’m now 55) but was more responsible I suppose, so, first things first, I got her on a good feeding schedule and acclimated to her new home, then after a couple months I got her a 110 gallon Viv, (def do this, she is now a bit over 7 foot at age 10 and getting bigger) Boas get big, remember that, she is normally very sweet and easy to handle unless she is really hungry, I watch for her coming out to hunt, but have learned not to make her wait long, her name goes from Bobby to Grumpy! I discovered that when she struck the glass it was MY fault, not hers, I feed her in the Viv, and she got bigger and needed more food, plus just taping some cardboard over the glass is enough change to stop her from striking and realize it’s feeding time. I’m in this forever folks, and I’m in a wheelchair, Bobby can still be handled well, although she has learned how to prevent me from going anywhere, I give her recreation time in the bathroom a few days a month, and she loves it, and she loves showers! did I mention Boas love the water 😏 Boas are great pets, learn your Boa, they are all individuals and will learn you as well. Given proper care they will give you as much as 30 years of one of the most interesting animals I’ve ever seen. Good luck and feel free to write me!

05/10/16  02:56pm

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