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Boa Constrictor

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GENERAL INFO

This will provide general information about the common boa constrictor, it will not focus on specific locales or subspecies.

Native Habitat: South America, some islands in the Caribbean.

Lifespan: 20-30 years

Size: Females 7-10 feet. Males 6-8 feet. In captivity and raised from birth they can reach longer lengths if provided adequate care and regular feedings.

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DIFFICULTY

Temperament: docile and curious

Ease of handling: Manageable size when young, a fully mature adult (10 feet+) can be difficult to handle without experience. They have a docile temperament, and are quite hardy. 

Skill level: Intermediate due to size, but their care and upkeep is beginner level.

Activity level: Nocturnal, asleep during the day and active at night.

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ENCLOSURE

The enclosure should be long enough for the snake to stretch out fully. A baby boa that is under 2 feet can live in a 2'x2'1' enclosure. A fully grown adult that is 10 feet can live in about 8'x4'x4' but larger is always better. The enclosure must be well secured as boas are very strong and can easily break free.

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ENVIRONMENT

Temperature: Basking area should be between 30-32°C. Cool area should be between 24-26°C. 

Lighting: Boa constrictors are nocturnal and therefore only require lighting to simulate day/night cycles and for heat.

Humidity: 45-75%. During shed the humidity should be 75-80%, a health shed will come off in one piece.

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ENRICHMENT

A large water bowl should be provided for drinking and bathing.

2 hides should be provided, one at each end of the enclosure.

Boas are semi-arboreal so areas to climb and explore are great, but make sure any climbing structure can support their body weight.

 

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DIET

Boa constrictors are carnivores, their main diet in captivity consists of mice and rats. Larger adults can also eat rabbits and chickens. Only feed food that is no larger than the widest part of the snake's body. Feed every 1 to 2 weeks. Boa constrictors tend to never miss a meal so be cautious not to over-feed.

A foster-based rescue in Southern Ontario