Yip! Santa very kindly slipped a beautiful, sleek Brown House Snake into his stocking at the last minute (along with a custom built cage, frozen food for 6 months, bedding, and a transit permit from Cape Nature, etc etc).
This creature was born in captivity. This is all he knows. I was determined to ensure that we only got a captive bred animal as I could NEVER condone keeping a wild creature. I still struggle with the fact that we are essentially supporting the ‘pet trade’, but I did my homework, and the people I bought him from seem to be very above board and legal and have a very obvious passion for captive bred reptiles and the care thereof. They also rescue abused pets (there are stories there which made me want to weep….)
“Only the best food for OUR snakes”, she tells me…and we have a big, well designed cage built specially for the little guy.
His name is Luke. After Luke Skywalker – of Star Wars fame. This creature is glorious in every way. They really are magnificent animals.
Luke was smuggled into our home on the 23rd of December. We had to install him into his new home (heat pad, light bulb, special sand and log included) and hide him from Tim until Xmas day. He was presented after lunch on Xmas Day by his Grandfather – zoology professor, resident scientist, etc. Tim was enthralled! His words…..“he is my best present EVER!”
In the two weeks we have had Luke he has shed his skin. See his very opaque eyes in this picture – these are classic pre-shedding eyes. He has had one good feed (more of that another day), and done all the things a healthy snake should do. He gets ‘played with’ fairly often. Tim is amazing with him – there is huge respect and gentleness there, which we insist on.
What I am enjoying is the fact that as friends pass through, Tim brings Luke into the scene. Initial horror is replaced with cautious touching, then even holding, then comments ‘Wow, he is so soft and beautiful’….
The young and the old, that is. These are people who have been alienated all their lives and are now seeing these animals for what they are. For the most part -harmless, when not confronted or threatened, beautiful, and NOT slimy or revolting. They are also incredible to just observe closely.
I love the fact that my son is so comfortable with snakes and relish the notion that he will go on to handle, appreciate and understand many different kinds of snakes in his life. Safely, of course….