Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Captive Care of the Borneo Blood Python

by Kestrel

used with permission. do not steal

General Info
The Borneo Blood Python, Python curtus breitensteini, is a medium sized but bulky python found in Borneo. They have a reputation of being pretty fiesty and unhandlable, but this depends on the individual. If you buy a baby, and raise it with a good amount of handling and care, you'll end up with a snake which is very easy to handle. But sometimes even with a good amount of handling, the snake will still be pretty nippy and nervous. As i said before, it all depends on the individual. Borneo's are pretty quick growers, and can grow up to 10 times their birth-weight in one year. They are also very powerful constrictors, killing their prey by suffocation. The average size for the Borneo Blood is about 4.5 to 5ft, but 6ft long animals are also seen. These are also NOT a good beginners snake. Their average temperment, large size, and husbandy make them a snake best left for people who have owned pythons before, and are familiar with providing for a species similar to this one.

I'd have to say the best thing to keep a juvie Borneo in would be a rubbermaid or tupperwear container. This gives them the security they need, as well as keeps it nice and humid. Be sure to drill or melt sufficient holes in the container for ventilation. For a medium or large snake, you can make your own custom enclosure, or buy one, as well as buy a glass aquarium big enough to house the animal. Keep in mind that these are very builky snakes, and require an enclosure at least as long as it is. Vision cages are also a good choice for these guys, as they hold humidity well. You always want to provide the snake at least one place to hide, preferably two, at either end of the heat gradient, which is explained later.

Borneo's require a fairly warm ambient temperature of 85 to 90°F. The temperature of the enclosure should never drop below 75°F. If you are keeping your snake in a tupperwear or rubbermaid container, you are probably going to want to use a heating pad of some sort. Its a good idea to keep a towel or some cloth between the tupperwear and the heating pad. If your snake is in a tank, its still a good idea to use a heating pad under half of it, and still be sure to keep a towel or something between the heating pad and the glass. If it gets to hot, it will burn your snake. You can also use heat lamps. A 60 or 75 watt bulb should do the trick, but you may want to see what watt bulb it will take to properly heat the area. Its a good idea to buy 2 temperature strips to go on either side of the snake's enclosure to check the temp gradient. It should be high 80s on one side during the day, and high 70s on the other side during the day. During the night, you can let the temp drop to high 70s. If using heat lamps, you can purchase a Night heat bulb that can stay on 24 hours a day.

The average feeding schedual for snakes is every 5 to 7 days, but once the snake is an adult and has stopped growing, you can feed every 7 to 10 days. Juvie Borneos can be started off on hopper or small adult mice. Small(2 to 2.5ft) snakes are big enough to take large adult mice or weanling rats. Medium sized snakes(3ft) are capable of taking large rats. Large animals(4 to 5ft) generally take jumbo rats. The general rule of thumb is to not feed an item that is bigger then the thickest part of the snake. Use common sense when judging the proper size of the food item. It is usually a good idea to feed your adult Borneo in a seperate cage or large box, to prevent the snake from associating you with food. Also, its not a good idea to feed your snake live food. A live mouse, and espcially a live rat, can easily kill your snake. If you can get your snake to eat thawed frozen or prekilled food, thats the best way to go.

Borneos require at least 60 to 70% humidity. They spend alot of time soaking, and love water, so don't become alarmed if your snake spends ALOT of time in their water dish. Its also a good idea to provide a humidity chamber for them to crawl into if they feel the need to. You can make one by taking a tupperwear or cutting a hole in the side of a plastic kitty litter pan, and filling the inside with damp sphagnum moss. You can achieve proper humidity levels a number of ways. Place the water dish on or under the heat sourch, and cover most of the tank lid(if using a tank) with aluminum foil. You can also mist down the enclosure daily with a mister bottle.

Handling a blood python is unlike handling any other python, in my opinion. Large bloods feel like a big tube of custard thats surrounded by muscle and loose skin. They also have the fasted reverse movement of any other snake that i've ever handled. LOL. The best way to hold a blood is to support its body with your arm(s) and hold it against your body. Bloods generally don't like being out in the air, and will often freak out and try to escape. Bloods also do NOT hold onto you. They'll just plop onto the floor and badly injure themselves. In the wild, bloods spend their lives on the ground, not climbing.

Borneo's love burrowing. Its a good idea to provide your snake many inches of substrate to play in. Aspen shavings and cypress mulch are the best things to use. You can buy cypress mulch at pretty much any hardwear and gardening store for really cheap. Avoid pine and ceader, the oils of these are toxic. Other substrates you can use include papertowels, newspaper, Repti-Bark, paper bags, and artificial grass, but Aspen shavings and cypress mulch are prefered. If using these substrates, you will want to feed your snake in a different container, because ingestion of these will cause health problems, or they can lodge in your snakes mouth and cause mouthrot. Other Useful Info
You always want to provide your Borneo with a plentiful supply of water, and a waterdish big enough for them to fully submerge themselves in. For adults, you can just go buy a plastic kitty litter pan, and that works great. You can also put alot of things in your Borneo's cage to dress it up. Big pieces of wood, fake plants, large rocks(no sharp edges), you name it. Just make sure they are easily cleanable, and have no critters or fungus or anything on/in them. It's always a good idea to wash anything that goes into your snakes cage first.