Boa Constrictor

Boa constrictor

Reptiles Alive Names: “Cinco & Sunglow (the albino)”

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Cinco the boa constrictor sporting a ‘stache.

 

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Sunglow the albino boa constrictor

Hisssstory: Cinco was an unwanted pet that was left with the Alexandria Animal Welfare League’s animal shelter and then we adopted him. Sunglow came to us from a citizen who no longer wanted to care for her.

RA Diet: Frozen, defrosted and then warmed up jumbo sized dead rats.  Yummmmmmmmmmm.

Range: Boa constrictors have an enormous range from Mexico to Argentina.

Habitat:
 Boa constrictors  live in many habitats:  rain forests, dry tropical woodlands, grasslands, farms, and even urban regions.

Natural Diet: Boa constrictors will consume birds,  small mammals, and occasionally reptiles.

Size: Boa constrictors grow to an average length of 6 – 9 feet and have been know to grow to over 12 feet long. The anaconda, which is related to boa constrictors, is considered one of the largest snakes in world and can grow to more than 20 feet!

Reproduction: Females give live birth of up to 50 babies at a time.  One of the big differences between boas and pythons is that boas give birth to live young and pythons lay eggs.

Lifespan:
 Boa constrictors are  long living snakes and can live for 40 years.

Conservation:
 Threats include:  human predation, roads, habitat loss and the pet trade. This is one of  the most commonly abandoned pet snakes.   Boa constrictors  get large, requiring custom built reptile enclosures, high heat and humidity, and food not found at the local grocery store!  Boas are not a great pet choice for most people.

Cool Facts: 
Boa constrictors are the kings and queens of the jungle.  Most rain forest animals are adapted to live in a specific layer of the forest.  For example:  Amazon river turtles live in the river, giant toads live on the forest floor,  and iguanas live in the canopy.  Boa constrictors, however, are adapted for living in all the layers of the jungle.  Like all snakes, they swim, so you can find them in the river.  Their beautiful colors give them camouflage that makes them almost invisible while resting quietly on the forest floor.  And, boa constrictors love to hang out in the canopy!  The boa constrictor is the master of the rain forest.