The ball python is a fascinating, exotic reptile that has gained massive popularity as a pet among both veteran and newbie pet owners alike. This humble constrictor typically reaches an adult size of a modest 5 feet long, making it an excellent, practical size for most homes. If you have ever considered keeping any sort of snake as a pet, you may be wondering how long ball pythons live. Additionally, you may want to know how to help your ball python reach its full lifespan.
How Long do Ball Pythons Live in the Wild?
The life of any wild animal isn’t always conducive to a long, safe life. From the first moments after hatching, a baby ball python has to contend with a variety of threats that would love a small snake as a quick snack.
The threats that these snakes have to survive don’t necessarily stop once it reaches adulthood. The reality is, adult ball pythons aren’t exactly apex predators. Instead, they are considered to be mesopredators due to their smaller size compared to larger predators in the area. You can think of them as being in the middle of the food chain. These snakes both consume smaller prey and are hunted by larger animals. They tend to be hunted or pushed out of their territory by other animals. This includes monkeys, wild boar, big cats, eagles, other snakes, monitors and humans.
When asking how long ball pythons live in the wild, you have to consider that they wouldn’t have access to any sort of medical care throughout its lifetime. Something as relatively minor as a hunting injury could mean death. Access to food and water is often uncertain and limited.
Due to these factors, the average lifespan of a ball python in the wild is cut short, rarely extending beyond 10-15 years.
How Long do Ball Pythons Live in Captivity?
As it happens, ball pythons have fairly long lifespans. Especially when away from the various dangers and uncertainties of the wild. With proper husbandry practices, awareness of your snake’s needs, and a good vet, your snake can live for 30+ years.
Of course, we would advise anyone looking to own this type of snake to keep their longer lifespan in mind. It would simply be practical to make plans for things that could influence or interfere with snake ownership. Especially 20+ years down the line. This includes sudden illness, moves, and general life changes. You will also need to prepare for your snake possibly needing more advanced medical care later in life.
Letting Your Snake Live its Best Life
When cared for properly, your ball python can live a longer, more satisfying life than one out in the wild. After all, when asking “how long do ball pythons live”, it’s important to examine quality of life. Before seeking out a ball python for sale (or any pet for that matter), it is your responsibility to provide it with the highest quality of life possible. This can be accomplished by paying special attention to certain aspects of its care, such as:
Proper Climate Control
No matter your local climate, you are going to have to ensure that your snake’s enclosure has the proper range of humidity and temperature. You can do this by monitoring it with a digital reptile thermometer (with the temperature staying at 70 degrees in a cool spot and 90 in a basking spot). You can also use a hygrometer, or humidity gauge (making sure it stays at about 50-60 percent).
Giving it Enrichment and Hides
Ball pythons are naturally shy animals that can become easily stressed without some level of privacy. Because of this, your slithery friend should have a couple of hides that it can decompress and relax in. When your snake feels like being out and about, it will also need various enrichment objects and activities to enjoy. This includes water dishes it can soak in, and plenty of vines/sticks it can climb on. A little bit of monitored time outside of its cage can also help shake up its routine a bit. If you’re unsure on what supplies to get for your baby snake’s setup, we would recommend acquiring a habitat setup that’ll have everything you need.
Getting Proper Vet Care
One of the most important factors to helping your ball python live a long, happy life is consistent vet care. It is true that meeting an experienced, quality vet can be difficult. However, it will be well worth knowing someone that knows your snake’s needs, and can catch potentially serious issues early.
Final Thoughts on How Long Ball Pythons Live
With a lifespan that stretches for decades, ball pythons make for long lived companions. As long as their needs are properly provided. Before looking at a ball python for sale, we would advise doing extensive research into making sure you are getting a healthy ball python.