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Can You Bond With Your Snake?

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by SamRae, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. SamRae

    SamRae New Member

    It is a question that has been rolling around my mind for a little while now. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like a bond with their ball python? A couple of months ago Damons heat pad shorted out and burnt his belly very badly. I handled him multiple times daily to put cream on his belly, he even got to the point where he would stay on his back with no problems for me to apply the cream. Ever since he healed he has been eager to be held and crawls back up my arm when I go to put him away.
  2. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Reptiles don't have an amygdala (part of the brain that experiences emotions) but who can say exactly what or how they perceive things? Some folks swear they can form bonds, others vehemently deny the possibility. Some snakes are more tolerant of handling than others, and they certainly have some capacity for learning. However, even the ones that don't particularly like handling are often reluctant to go back into their enclosure. Then there are others that are fine being handled, yet quite willingly go back into their enclosure to get away again. I've seen many snakes that are rather eager to get out of their tub or enclosure, yet don't want human contact. My male Japanese rat snake, on the other hand, is quite willing to climb right up my arm rather than easily avoiding it and going for the other end of the tub when I open the lid. My Okeetee corn is quite eager to come to the front of her tank when I approach, hoping for food, but isn't really willing to climb on up/out. My sub-adult woma python is very food-driven. He will come right up to my hand, has no issues about being picked up and handled, then a minute later will seriously try to eat my finger. I run cold water over his head until he lets go, but it will likely keep happening until he outgrows the "starving adolescent" stage. I don't have a ball python, do have several species of boas, carpet, woma, and savu pythons, and various species of rat and king snakes. Black headed cat snake arriving tomorrow, I hope that one is as docile as most of the rest of my collection.
  3. Atroxus

    Atroxus Well-Known Member

    Personally I think this is one of those debates that will never be answered unless humans discover a way to communicate with animals and I won't pretend to know the answer. If you feel like you have a bond with your snake, I am not going to try to deny it. I hope you have many happy years with your scaly companion though. :)
  4. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    While I may get emotionally attached to my animals, I can't say that I've ever seen any of the reptiles return that affection. Some might put on a good show in the hopes of getting a meal or treat, but it's all food based. They most definitely do seem to have different personalities, for lack of a better term. Both from one species to the next, and between individuals of the same species. One example is that I have several red eared sliders. Some, even after having them for years, remain shy and even a bit reclusive, while others will get super excited and literally be trying to swim straight up out of the water to get to me. At least until they are thoroughly and heavily fed, then it drops to a mild curiosity.
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm going to agree. Although we like to try to project human emotions onto our's just not there.
    That said I have experienced something similar with a young cornsnake I purchased. It was ill and required oral medication daily for weeks as well as forcefeeding. Even after all of this he was the most laidback snake I had.

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