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Can a Ball Python Kill a Human?

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Boa, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Boa

    Boa Elite Member

    I just had someone tell me I should not of bought my ball python because it will get bigger and kill me. I told them it will only probably 3ft long right now hes 2ft long, and this python is very docile with me. is it true that a python or boa can kill a human? or is this person freaking out for no reason.

  2. warneri

    warneri Elite Member

    who ever told you that knows nothing about snakes, no a ball python cant kill you, a snake would have to be at least 8feet long to kill someone, probably 10 feet to kill an adult
  3. Anthony14

    Anthony14 Elite Member

    If you think a Ball Python can kill you or even had to question yourself when your friend mentioned it, you should return the snake immediately as you must not have don ANY research whatsoever on this animal.

    Now about your question, I think a large female ball python could kill a cat or small dog in the correct circumstances but even that is HIGHLY unlikely.

    However, a ball python could not get nearly big enough to kill a human and on top of that they are usually referred to as the most docile snake because of their very tame nature.

    However, some pythons can kill ADULT humans with little effort, they would be as follows: Reticulated Python, Burmese Python, African Rock Python and the Green Anaconda.
  4. warneri

    warneri Elite Member

    but yes some pythons can kill(burmese pythons and reticulated pythons). and i'm pretty sure there's no documented cases of boa constrictors killing humans
  5. Boa

    Boa Elite Member

    I know that my ball python cant kill me, I did do research before i got him home.
  6. Anthony14

    Anthony14 Elite Member

    Then why did you ask this question and make this thread? :/
  7. Boa

    Boa Elite Member

    Because everyone I know is scared of this python, and i want to let my friends know that hes not some sort of human killing machine.
  8. Anthony14

    Anthony14 Elite Member

    Typical un-informed people and their fear of snakes thanks to stupid Hollywood movies and religious fairytales.

    Sorry for prematurely judging your knowledge. I hope your friends have a change of heart and realize your snake is a really nice fellow.
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    It never hurts to double check either. Especially with all of the misinformation out there.

    I am not sure there is any recorded case of a Ball Python killing a human being, and if it has happened, the circumstances must have been phenomenally stupid. At any rate, I doubt it has ever happened.

    To a non-herp person, the word python translates automatically as "Giant man-eating snake". Most people do not realize that pythons come in smaller sizes - I mean, look at the genus Antaresia.

    As a rule of thumb, many keepers recommend having partners to handle anything over 6 feet. Our large boa (8 feet) could easily kill an inattentive person. We do not handle her solo unless there is a good reason (such as cleaning or maintenance.) Recreational handling is always done in pairs. 2 people comfortable handling her. She weighs 22 pounds, and has a TEMPER. Most boas are somewhat calmer than she is, though I think I recall hearing one news article about someone in the US being killed by a common boa. I could be wrong!

    A determined large adult ball python could probably asphyxiate a very small child if left unattended with them. That said, you seem to have enough IQ points to know better. ;)
  10. Anthony14

    Anthony14 Elite Member

    Dragoness by innatentive you mean like unconscious or stupid(someone letting it get a full wrap on their neck)?

    I just classified the four that could kill a person under circumstances which you had full control and you could resist but it can still overpowern you.
  11. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Pretty much. If our big girl got a full wrap on anyone's neck, she could more than likely kill them, which is why she is not allowed to be around the neck. I think I read somewhere that constrictors (and by his, I mean boas and pythons) at or over 6 ft in length are generally strong enough to crush a human windpipe. Anything approaching that size should be treated with caution. That said, most BP will never get that big - they usually average 3-4 feet.


    This is a recent picture of our big boa, next to a US quarter.

    Attached Files:

  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I have never heard of a case in which a ball python killed a human.
    And I have been around a LONG time! LOL!:rolleyes:
    That said, I suppose that under a VERY specific set of circumstances it could possibly happen. But those circumstances would be drenched in exceedingly large doses of ignorance and irresponsibilty to occur.

    So here goes.
    In the event that a very large (5-6ft) adult ball python was allowed to get coils completely encircling the throat, began to constrict, and for some reason the person was unable to unwrap the snake it might, concievably, cause them to pass out. Pressure in certain areas of the throat will cause you to pass out.
    Talk to any police officer or trained martial artist about a "sleeper" hold.
    In the event that the snake continued to constrict the unconcious individual death could possibly occur.
    A normal, unimpaired adult or older child would have no trouble just unwrapping the snake, unless they were physically impaired in some way.
    An infant, or exceedingly young child would be unable to unwrap the snake.

    A snake will not necessarily only constrict if it is something that they intend to feed on. They will also constrict if they feel insecure as if they were going to fall and tighten to secure themselves on their perch.
    It all boils down to common sense. If you have, for examply, Rheumatoid arthritis and lack strength or physical control in your hands, don't handle the snake by yourself.
    If you are intoxicated, don't be an idiot!
    And do not allow a constrictor of any size to be unattended in the presence, of a helpless infant.
    Ball pythons, while being one of the most docile, safest for handling, of snakes,... are still a snake.
    It all boils down to using common sense. I personally would have no misgivings about allowing any child over the age of 5 to handle an adult ball python. Supervised of course. And my grandchildren routinely did just that.
  13. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Agreed, but the anaconda is a boa constrictor.

    A Ball Python can grow to 5 - 6 feet and be very strong and heavy. It could kill a baby or small child under certain unlikely circumstances if it stops the human from breathing for long enough.
  14. andys3ballpythons

    andys3ballpythons Elite Member

    ok i have a four foot ball that i got curious one day, my wife and two of my best friends were with me and i fealt her start to tighten around my neck, i wanted to see what she was capable of so i let her continue with everyone ready to help if unlikely needed, after sitting there for almost 15 minutes and only being slightly red in the face, i would say the likelyhood of a ball killing you is very unlikly, but like everyone says, somewhat possible with the right, (or wrong) circumstances, now my boa that is between 6 and 7 feet started to get scary, quite a bit more strength in her, but i still dont handle her alone very often if at all, even though i have never had a problem unwinding her off of me, a common boa would be more likely to accomplish the task of killing an adult human, but if your life depended on it im sure the adrenaline would help you remove the snake.
  15. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    There is at least one case I know of that happened fairly recently in which a boa (not terribly huge either) killed an adult human being when he could not remove it from around his neck and he was deprived of oxygen for too long.

    If a snake is just "holding on" firmly, it is vastly different and much looser than if is "attacking" by constriction. I find that the boas squeeze much tighter than the Ball Pythons when wrapping their bodies around you and "holding on", and no doubt they can constrict much tighter when deliberately constricting too.
  16. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I would think that a snake would be like one big muscle, especially a constrictor!
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Pretty much!
  18. BallPython101

    BallPython101 Member

    I know this is probably sorted, and your sick of people telling you the same thing, i don't have time to read others posts but from a quick scan it's all good info
    Your ball python has no venom and will never get to a size where it will be capable of killing you.
  19. Knox

    Knox Elite Member

    I don't understand this reply. An Anaconda is a totally different snake than a Boa.

    I have never seen a 6ft Ball. I am not saying the CAN'T get this large, just that most range in the 3 to 4 ft.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Anacondas are actually in the boa family. They are often also called water boas.

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