My name is Pretzel and I was told some humans might want to hear my story. I’m an adult Ball Python. Not sure what the humans are talking about when they say “birthdays” or “age” but apparently mine is unknown. My species is native to Africa, but personally I grew up in Arizona. After living with my first humans, I woke up one day and found myself in an empty tank on the side of the road. I guess they didn’t like snakes like me after all, many people don’t. Luckily, I was found and taken to the local reptile rescue in Phoenix. There was a lot going on here, everything was so new. So, I made sure to be on my best behavior. Turns out, this worked in my favor because a nice animal sanctuary in Colorado called asking if there were any nice snakes available for adoption. I made the cut! After about a week and the longest drive ever, I found myself at Zoology Foundation.
I have always been very curious so when I first arrived at Zoology Foundation, I was not shy or timid. I had a blast exploring my new home and meeting all my new humans! They put new things in my house weekly to investigate AND my space is remodeled and updated monthly with new furniture, flooring, and hidey holes. I also have my own sauna! All the snakes get them here. It’s a special room filled with soft, moist moss that I can relax in to help keep my scales in good health.
The food here is also great! I was small for my species when I first got to Zoology because I wasn’t fed properly at my first home. Here food is predictable and plentiful! I prefer to go out to eat, so my humans graciously bring me to a special feeding container that always has my favorite meal-a whole, small rat! My food is already deceased, I don’t like my food staring at me, and warmed up to my liking. I eat once a week and have increased from eating small mice to small rats which I prefer because they are higher in fat. I am happy to say I have doubled in size since arriving at Zoology Foundation and am now a healthy weight for a female Ball Python!
There are a lot more people here than at my old home. I got used to interacting with more people while I was at the reptile rescue in Phoenix and became comfortable being handled. This has worked out because I get to help my humans show new humans around my house! I hear my humans talk about how they don’t want me to work too hard or get stressed out. I am never handled while I am shedding my scales because this is very tiring for me. At most, when I am healthy and in between sheds, I help them two or three times a week for about 5 minutes. I curl up around the hands of one of my trustworthy humans who I have worked with before and hang out while they brag about how cool I am!
Overall, I’d say I’m a pretty lucky snake. Not only was I found after I was abandoned before getting hurt or eaten. But I also ended up at a home where I am appreciated for exactly who I am and cared for as such. I feel proud that I live at a place where I have the opportunity to teach other humans that scaly creatures like myself are important and have a big impact in the environments we live. If you don’t agree with this, come and visit. I just might change your mind!