When you have children, it is nothing, if not informative!
Joshua, our eldest, is 11 and animal mad. He had been begging us for ages to allow him to get a reptile of some sort and while happy to do this, the initial expense of setting up was deferred to a birthday / Christmas present. This also gave him the opportunity to firm up on a decision as to what he actually wanted to get.
Having been through chameleons and geckos, and a variety of other scaly, legged creatures he eventually decided on a snake of some sort and after a lot of research which we insisted that he did, he settled on a corn snake as they are quite ‘sociable’ animals and have quite a lot of character – apparently 😉
As luck would have it, there is a reptile centre no more than 5 miles or so away, so before Christmas we visited and obtained all the kit he needed, so that he could set it up for his birthday, which he duly did, taking much care over the positioning of the lamp, substrate and log which we hoped would provide his new friend with a nice environment in which to live. After we came back from holiday we went back to the shop and he came out as the proud owner of lilac corn snake.
They are definitely animals full of character as the assistant in the shop informed us; Joshua’s snake, Casian (kay-sian), is more than happy to be held and when it gets bigger will drape itself across your shoulders, should you give it the chance of course. Whenever it is brought out it is interested and sniffs the air constantly to build up a picture of its surroundings and despite only having been with us for less than a month, has already amazed us with its skin shedding and the pièce_de_résistance, eating a (previously) frozen mouse which seems unimaginably bigger than itself.
We have all heard stories of giant snakes in Africa swallowing buck, crocodiles and the occasional unlucky stray native villager, but to actually see this small juvenile snake devouring a mouse twice the thickness of its own body is a sight to behold.
Maybe next time I’ll try to get a video for YouTube 🙂