Hi. I am due to get a Ball Python tomorrow from a friend who can no longer keep it due to moving to a small apartment. The snake (male) is about a year old and from what i have been told, has never once struck out at his owner. I have done some research of these snakes and have posed many questions to the guy i am buying the snake from. I believe i am right to assume that Ball Pythons are docile creatures and rarely bite. I have also read about bites being pretty bad when they do occur, in that the snake wont let go of your hand/body part bitten.

Well, my question is this..How exactly does one separate ones hand/body part from the snakes mouth once he has a good grip? I also own a corn snake who is about 10 months old and has never once struck out to bite anyone who has handled her. Are Ball Pythons also as docile as corns, like care sheets and websites claim they are? I suppose i am asking this question to owners who have had experience with keeping these snakes.
So please, any advice on the biting thing would be great! Thanks.

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Gremlin Dude
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Balls rarely bite in self-defence, they prefer to curl into a ball and hide their head in the middle.
The reason a ball may be reluctant to let go when it does bite is because most ball bites are due to a hungry ball mistaking your hand for food or missing their dinner and getting you instead.
I've heard that spraying alcohol into the snake's snout is the best way of getting a large boid to let go.
Balls are small boids compared to the big guys (boa constrictors) and the really big guys (burmese and reticulated pythons, anacondas, etc.)

A ball bite shouldn't be that serious, not compared to the damage a big boid can do. A bite from a burm or retic can break the bones in your hand and someone here said he saw a retic swallow a friend's arm, the snake let go and luckily the arm was still attached to his body.
Thanks, thats reassuring to know. What kind of alcohol should be used in the unlikely event of a stubborn/determined/hungry snake that wont let go? I always make sure i have clean hands before feeding my corn, therefore having mouse-scent-free hands, so assuming nothing changes when feeding the ball, i am hoping for no nipping and biting.

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Gremlin Dude
Hi Gremlin,
Grainne's advice is right on the money. When I kept a Burm, I kept a spray bottle of vodka within ready reach; after a very unpleasant encounter. The general consensus at the time was to keep such handy, but fortunately; I never had the need for it again. I think that any liquor will have basically the same effect, just don't use isopropyl alcohol.
I now have two ball pythons, one of which I've had for nearly 20 years. Neither has ever made any attempt to bite, as long as I'm careful at feeding time!
Enjoy your pet.
KBC
Hi. I am due to get a Ball Python tomorrow from a friend who can no longer keep it due ... experience with keeping these snakes. So please, any advice on the biting thing would be great! Thanks. == Gremlin Dude

When my redtail bites it will always let go once it realizes it's not food. But i had it a long time it knows my scent or taste knows i not good to eat and lets go. I've never been bit by a ball. just my Redtail & my corn. If you can put up with a little pain if it does bite. if you don't fight it it should let go.
Balls rarely bite in self-defence, they prefer to curl into a ball and hide their head in the middle. The ... heard that spraying alcohol into the snake's snout is the best way of getting a large boid to let go.

Well, dabbing on the gums might be better than spraying - alcohol is seriously toxic to snakes and you wouldn't want them to breathe it in.

Another alternative, snakes have lungs, things with lungs need to breathe. They can't do it under water. Present them with a choice (make sure the water isn't too cold, or the thermal shock might kill it). Just be prepared for a long wait, because they're damned good at holding their breath.
Hi. I am due to get a Ball Python tomorrow from a friend who can no longer keep it due ... experience with keeping these snakes. So please, any advice on the biting thing would be great! Thanks. == Gremlin Dude

Normally a snake will release it's bite on it's own once it realizes you are not "prey". I've only been bitten accidently during feeding.

And yes, one bite was from a "rescued" ball python that weighed a good
15 lbs. ;-) I was feeding her prior to passing her on to an Austin snakerescue and she had just moulted.
She literally shot out of the cage door at the rat I was holding to feed her and buried her teeth in my belly! ;-P Had to support her coils until she let go while blood was running down my legs.

It really was not painful, just messy and kind of a pain in the butt.

I've also never had a snake bite get infected. Not like claw wounds from raptor talons! Those are bad......
She did finally get her rat and made short work of it. ;-)

Snakes are not very bright. (understatement?)

K.
Sprout the MungBean to reply
"I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell‹you see, I have friends in both places." Mark Twain
Thanks for the advice people! I didn't get the snake today as i thought, but am hoping to get it tomorrow. Will keep some alcohol handy! lol. Thanks again
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Gremlin Dude
And yes, one bite was from a "rescued" ball python that weighed a good 15 lbs. ;-) I was feeding ... running down my legs. It really was not painful, just messy and kind of a pain in the butt.

Ha ha! My favorite bite story is when my boa struck at my adult boxer while I was holding her. She came up short, but her momentum swung her around and she grabbed my boob! She tried to immediately let go, but her teeth were tangled in my shirt along with my flesh, and it took a moment to pry her off. It was rather shocking.
Emotion: wink
Cindy
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