Should I get it
Thank you for your question. A ball python (Python regius) can make a great pet if properly selected and cared for. Unlike some of the other popular pythons kept as pets, the ball python doesn't get very big. Females are larger than the males, averaging 3 - 5 feet, while males typically are 2 - 3 feet in length. Ball pythons are generally shy and are seldom aggressive. Properly maintained, they can be live for over 30 years in captivity, so they can represent a big commitment.
It's important to make sure the python you choose is a captive born and bred. This prevents the removal of wild specimens from their natural habitat, and also usually means you'll have a pet that's free of parasites and in good health. You also want to make sure that the snake you choose is feeding well. Ball pythons can sometimes be finicky eaters, and you want a snake that is readily accepting food. If you decide to purchase this species, I recommend you do some research to locate a reputable breeder. A good breeder will have personal experience with the snakes he or she is offering and can make sure you get a healthy snake that is feeding well.
Adequate housing, temperature and humidity are essential in keeping your pet healthy. I have included a link to an article in Reptile Magazine that provides an in-depth discussion of the proper care of ball pythons:
Also, before you purchase your snake, find out if there's a good reptile veterinarian in your area. Having access to an experienced reptile veterinarian can help you keep your pet healthy and handle any emergencies that may arise.
You may also want to consider joining the Kentucky Herpetological Society. Being a member of a reptile association can put you in touch with lots of other experienced reptile enthusiasts and herpetologists, and allow you to learn more about reptiles and get help with any issues you may have with your pet. Their website is located at: http://www.kyherpsoc.org/
Hope this answers your question, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.