Do Ball pythons like to be held

Do Ball pythons like to be held

Being one of the most popular pet reptiles, ball pythons are known for their docile nature and beautiful appearance. As a responsible owner, it’s important to understand their behavior and preferences, especially when it comes to handling. This article will provide valuable insights into the topic of “Do Ball Pythons like to be held”.

Before delving into their preference for human interaction, it’s essential to gain a basic understanding of ball pythons. These snakes are native to sub-Saharan Africa and are named after their unique defensive behavior of curling into a tight ball to protect their head when threatened – hence the term “ball” python.

Ball pythons, also known as royal pythons, are non-venomous constrictor snakes. They are relatively small in size, typically reaching lengths of 3 to 5 feet. Ball pythons are characterized by their patterned scales, which range in color from shades of brown and black to vibrant yellows and whites.

In their natural habitat, ball pythons are primarily nocturnal, spending their days hiding in burrows or under debris. They are solitary creatures and are generally docile. Ball pythons have a reputation for being more reserved and less active compared to other snake species.

While ball pythons may not necessarily “enjoy” human interaction in the same way a dog or a cat does, they can tolerate and even benefit from handling when done correctly.

Several factors influence how ball pythons respond to human handling. These include their individual personality, previous experiences, age, overall health, and the environment in which they are kept. Some ball pythons may be more comfortable and receptive to handling, while others may exhibit signs of stress.

Although ball pythons may not seek out human interaction, proper and regular handling can provide several benefits for these reptiles.

Regular handling can help foster trust between the snake and its owner, leading to a stronger bond. When handled gently and with respect, ball pythons can become more relaxed and comfortable in human presence.

Handling can provide mental stimulation for ball pythons, helping to prevent boredom and promote overall well-being. It allows them to explore new environments and experience different textures, scents, and temperatures.

Handling provides an opportunity to closely observe the snake’s health. By regularly examining their body condition, scales, and overall appearance, you can detect any potential health issues at an early stage.

It is crucial to recognize the signs that indicate a ball python is comfortable with handling. These signs include relaxed body posture, frequent tongue flicking, and slow, deliberate movements.

Proper handling techniques are essential to ensure the well-being of both the snake and the handler.

Before handling, ensure that the snake’s enclosure is secure, the temperature and humidity levels are appropriate, and there are no potential hazards nearby.

When handling a ball python, it is essential to approach them calmly, support their body, and avoid sudden movements. Understanding their comfort zone and respecting their boundaries is crucial to prevent stress and potential bites.

While handling ball pythons can be beneficial, there are common mistakes that owners should avoid. These include handling during shedding or feeding periods, overhandling, and not providing enough time for the snake to acclimate to its new environment.

By understanding the natural behavior of ball pythons, assessing their comfort level, and following appropriate handling guidelines, you can create a positive and enriching experience for both you and your snake.

Key takeaway:

  • Understanding Ball Pythons: Ball pythons are a type of snake with unique behaviors and preferences, which should be considered when handling them.
  • Benefits of Handling Ball Pythons: Handling ball pythons can help build trust and bonding, provide mental stimulation, and have health benefits for the snake.
  • Mistakes to Avoid When Handling Ball Pythons: Understanding their preferences, knowing when not to handle, being aware of health issues, using proper handling tools, and recognizing signs of distress are important to prevent harm to the snake.

Understanding Ball Pythons

Understanding Ball Pythons - Do Ball pythons like to be held

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Understanding Ball Pythons is essential for anyone considering owning one as a pet. These reptiles can be excellent companions when provided with proper care and knowledge. Ball pythons are renowned for their calm temperament and lack of aggression towards humans. Additionally, their relatively small size makes them more manageable for novice reptile owners.

To comprehend ball pythons fully, it is vital to acknowledge their origin in West Africa and their preference for a tropical climate. These creatures are primarily active during the night and are known to curl up defensively when they feel threatened, which is why they are called “ball” pythons. As carnivorous animals, ball pythons primarily consume small mammals like mice, rats, or birds. It is crucial to feed them accordingly to ensure their well-being.

A true story exemplifies the significance of understanding ball pythons. There was an owner who was unaware of their pet’s specific temperature requirements. Consequently, the snake was kept in a habitat that was too cold, leading to respiratory problems. Knowledge of the proper temperature range for ball pythons is vital for their overall health and longevity. Fortunately, after adjusting the temperature and seeking appropriate veterinary care, the snake made a complete recovery.

What are Ball Pythons?

Ball pythons, also known as royal pythons, are a type of snake that are often kept as pets. They are known for their docile nature and the ability to curl into a ball when feeling threatened, which is how they got their name. These snakes, native to Africa, can be found in countries such as Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Ball pythons are constrictors, meaning they squeeze their prey to subdue it before swallowing it whole. Their diet primarily consists of small mammals such as rats or mice.

As pets, ball pythons require specific care and attention. Providing them with a warm and humid environment is vital for their well-being, so it’s important to set up a terrarium correctly. Regular monitoring of temperature and humidity levels is necessary to ensure the snake’s optimal health.

One of the reasons ball pythons are highly sought after by snake enthusiasts is their unique and beautiful patterns and colors. They come in various morphs, which are different genetic variations resulting in distinctive appearances. These morphs make ball pythons an appealing choice for snake lovers.

Therefore, ball pythons are captivating snakes that require special care and attention as pets. Their docile nature, ability to curl into a ball, and diverse morphs contribute to their popularity among snake enthusiasts.


What is their Natural Behavior?

Ball pythons are known for their unique natural behavior. They are a type of snake that is native to Africa and are primarily terrestrial, spending most of their time on the ground. Ball pythons are also recognized for their shy and docile nature, which makes them popular pets among snake enthusiasts.

In their natural habitat, ball pythons exhibit nocturnal behavior, being most active during the nighttime hours. Throughout the day, they take cover in burrows or seek shelter in tight spaces such as tree hollows or rock crevices. This behavior serves to protect them from predators and enables them to regulate their body temperature.

When it comes to hunting, ball pythons are constrictors. They employ an ambush technique to capture their prey, which mainly consists of small mammals like mice and rats. Before swallowing their prey whole, ball pythons constrict them to subdue them. Notably, these snakes possess specialized heat-sensing pits on their faces, aiding in locating their prey even in low light conditions.

Defensively, ball pythons have the ability to curl themselves into a tight ball when they feel threatened. They tuck their head under their coils, assuming a defensive posture that resembles a ball, thus giving them their name.

Understanding the natural behavior of ball pythons is crucial when keeping them as pets. Creating an appropriate enclosure that emulates their natural habitat can help these snakes feel secure and thrive in captivity. Moreover, being knowledgeable about their behavior patterns allows snake owners to identify signs of distress or illness and ensure the overall well-being of their pets.

Do Ball Pythons Enjoy Human Interaction?

Ball pythons, as solitary creatures, do not actively seek out human interaction. They prefer to spend most of their time alone in their habitat. While some ball pythons may tolerate handling, it is important to remember that each snake has its own personality and temperament. It is crucial to handle them gently and with care, taking cues from their behavior and body language.

When it comes to human interaction, ball pythons may not necessarily enjoy it, but they can tolerate it if done correctly. It is important to approach and handle them in a calm and gentle manner to minimize stress. Regular handling, in short intervals, can help them become more comfortable around humans, but always respect their boundaries.

Suggestions for interacting with ball pythons include creating a calm and quiet environment, avoiding sudden movements or loud noises, and allowing them to retreat to their enclosure if they show signs of stress or discomfort. It is also important to wash hands thoroughly before and after handling to prevent the transmission of germs or bacteria.

Remember, not all ball pythons will enjoy human interaction, and it is essential to respect their natural behavior and individual preferences. If you are unsure about handling them, it is best to consult with a reptile expert or a veterinarian for guidance.

What Are the Factors That Influence their Response to Handling?

The factors that influence a Ball Python’s response to handling can vary. It is important to understand these factors to ensure the well-being and comfort of the snake.

1. Environment: The environment plays a crucial role in a Ball Python’s response to handling. Factors such as temperature, lighting, and humidity can affect their behavior. Maintaining appropriate conditions in their enclosure is essential.

2. Socialization: Ball Pythons that are exposed to regular handling and socialization from a young age tend to be more tolerant and comfortable with human interaction. Positive experiences and gentle handling can help cultivate trust between the snake and handler.

3. Individual Personality: Just like humans, Ball Pythons have unique personalities. Some snakes may naturally be more prone to being calm and relaxed during handling, while others may be more skittish or prone to stress. It is important to understand and respect the individual preferences and needs of each snake.

4. Health and Stress Levels: A Ball Python’s response to handling can also be influenced by its overall health and stress levels. Snakes that are ill or under significant stress may exhibit fear or aggression when handled. It is essential to monitor their health and provide appropriate care to ensure their well-being.

Suggestions: When handling a Ball Python, always prioritize the snake’s well-being and comfort. Create a calm and secure environment, handle the snake gently and confidently, and observe their body language for any signs of stress or discomfort. It’s important to be patient and allow the snake to adjust to handling at their own pace. Remember to always wash your hands before and after handling to maintain hygiene.

Benefits of Handling Ball Pythons

Benefits of Handling Ball Pythons - Do Ball pythons like to be held

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Discover the amazing benefits of handling ball pythons! From building trust and bonding with your scaly companion to providing enrichment and mental stimulation, the advantages are endless.

Not only does handling strengthen the bond between you and your python, but it also contributes to their overall health and wellbeing.

Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of ball python interaction and uncover the remarkable effects it can have on both you and your slithering friend.

Building Trust and Bonding

Building trust and bonding is of utmost importance in establishing a positive human-pet relationship with ball pythons. Consistent and gentle handling is key to achieving this, as it creates a sense of security for the snake. Regular and respectful interaction over time helps in building trust. It is crucial to be patient, as each snake is unique and may require different amounts of time to feel comfortable.

To build trust and bonding, it is essential to handle the snake confidently and securely. Adhering to proper handling techniques and guidelines ensures the safety of both the handler and the snake. This includes providing support to the snake’s body and avoiding sudden movements.

In addition, creating a suitable environment is vital. Offering a secure and comfortable enclosure with appropriate temperature and humidity levels promotes a sense of safety and well-being for the snake. Providing hiding spots and other enrichment items can further enhance their overall experience.

Understanding and respecting the preferences of ball pythons is crucial when building trust and bonding. Some snakes may prefer limited handling or not enjoy being held for extended periods. It is important to recognize signs of distress such as hissing, hiding, or defensive postures to prevent unnecessary stress.

Building trust and bonding with ball pythons requires time and effort. By following proper handling techniques, creating a suitable environment, and respecting the snake’s needs and preferences, a strong bond can be cultivated. This bond not only enhances the relationship between the snake and the handler but also contributes to the overall well-being and happiness of the ball python.

Enrichment and Mental Stimulation

Enrichment and mental stimulation are crucial for the well-being of ball pythons. Here are some ways to provide these for your pet:

  • Varying the environment: Create different settings within the enclosure by adding branches, rocks, or hides. This provides opportunities for exploration and adds mental stimulation.
  • Providing hiding spots: Ball pythons are naturally shy and enjoy hiding. Offer several hiding spots using caves or plant decorations.
  • Offering different textures: Include objects with varying textures, such as different types of substrates or fabric, to stimulate their senses.
  • Adding climbing opportunities: Ball pythons enjoy climbing, so provide branches or logs for them to explore and exercise.
  • Introducing novel objects: Occasionally introduce new objects or toys into the enclosure to keep them engaged and encourage curiosity.
  • Implementing feeding enrichment: Use feeding puzzles or hide food in different locations to simulate hunting behavior.
  • Rotating hiding places: Move the hiding spots around periodically to keep them curious and engaged in their environment.

By incorporating these practices, you can ensure that your ball python experiences mental stimulation and enrichment, promoting their overall well-being.

Health Benefits

The health benefits of handling ball pythons include stress relief, increased physical activity, and improved mental well-being. Interacting with ball pythons has been shown to reduce stress levels in humans, providing a calming presence and soothing experience. Gentle movements required when handling these reptiles provide a form of light exercise, making it suitable for individuals with limited mobility seeking increased physical activity. Engaging with ball pythons can have a positive impact on mental health, boosting mood, reducing anxiety, and providing a sense of companionship. It is important to note that these health benefits can vary depending on the individual and their specific circumstances. Consulting with a healthcare professional or reptile expert is recommended to ensure safe and suitable handling of ball pythons for your health needs.

Signs That a Ball Python is Comfortable with Handling

  • A relaxed body posture: A comfortable ball python will have a relaxed and elongated body posture rather than being tightly coiled.
  • Smooth movements: When a ball python is comfortable with handling, it will move smoothly and without tension.
  • Exploration: If a ball python feels comfortable, it may start to explore its surroundings and move around more freely.
  • Tongue flicking: A ball python that flicks its tongue in a slow and deliberate manner indicates a relaxed state and a willingness to engage with its environment.
  • Reduced defensive behaviors: A comfortable ball python is less likely to exhibit defensive behaviors such as hissing, striking, or balling up into a tight coil.
  • Open and clear eyes: Clear and open eyes are a sign of relaxation and comfort in a ball python.
  • Curiosity towards the handler: If a ball python shows curiosity towards the handler by consistently following their movements or gently exploring their hand, it is a positive sign of comfort.
  • Eating and drinking normally: A ball python that eats and drinks regularly without any hesitation is likely to be comfortable with handling.

How to Handle a Ball Python Properly

How to Handle a Ball Python Properly - Do Ball pythons like to be held

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How should you handle a ball python properly? Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty and explore the dos and don’ts of handling these slithery creatures. We’ll start off by looking at the importance of creating the right environment for your ball python. Then, we’ll uncover various handling techniques and guidelines that will ensure a safe and comfortable experience for both you and your scaly friend. So, get ready to become a pro at handling ball pythons like a champ!

Creating the Right Environment

When it comes to the well-being of ball pythons, creating the right environment is crucial. Here are some important factors that you should consider:

  1. Temperature: To maintain a healthy environment, it is essential to keep the temperature consistent within the range of 80-85°F (27-29°C) in the enclosure. This can be achieved by using heat lamps or heating pads.
  2. Humidity: Another vital aspect is maintaining a humidity level of 50-60% in order to ensure proper shedding. You can monitor the humidity levels using a hygrometer and mist the enclosure regularly if needed.
  3. Lighting: Providing a day-night cycle is important for your ball python’s well-being. Use a timer to set 10-12 hours of light and 12-14 hours of darkness. Consider using a low-intensity bulb or a UVB bulb to mimic natural lighting.
  4. Hiding spots: Snakes feel secure when they have multiple hiding spots in their enclosure. Consider placing caves or branches throughout the enclosure to provide hiding spots for your ball python.
  5. Substrate: Choosing the right substrate is essential. Consider using coconut husk or aspen shavings that retain moisture and allow your ball python to burrow.
  6. Cleanliness: Regular cleaning is important to maintain a healthy environment. Make sure to remove waste and perform spot cleaning regularly. Additionally, cleaning the entire enclosure every four to six weeks helps prevent bacterial growth.

Pro Tip: Regularly monitoring the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure will ensure that they remain within the appropriate range. This will help create a comfortable and stress-free environment for your ball python.

Handling Techniques and Guidelines

When it comes to handling ball pythons, it is important to follow proper techniques and guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of both the snake and the handler. Here is a table that outlines some essential handling techniques and guidelines:

Approaching the snakeApproach the snake slowly and calmly, avoiding sudden movements that may startle or stress the snake.
Supporting the snake’s bodyWhen handling the snake, support its body properly by using both hands. Avoid grabbing or squeezing the snake too tightly.
Handling in a controlled environmentHandle the snake in a secure and controlled environment, such as a snake-proof room or a handling container.
Respecting the snake’s limitsPay attention to the snake’s body language and reactions. If the snake shows signs of stress or discomfort, gently place it back in its enclosure.
Keeping sessions short and infrequentAvoid handling the snake for extended periods of time or too frequently. Limit handling sessions to a few minutes at a time to prevent stress.

It is important to remember that handling ball pythons should always be done with care and respect for the snake’s well-being. By following these handling techniques and guidelines, you can ensure a positive and stress-free experience for both you and your ball python.

Remember to always research and consult with experts to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information on handling techniques and guidelines for ball pythons.

Mistakes to Avoid When Handling Ball Pythons

When it comes to handling ball pythons, avoiding some common mistakes can make all the difference. In this section, we’ll uncover the do’s and don’ts of handling these magnificent reptiles. From understanding and respecting their preferences, to knowing the right times to handle them and the potential health issues to be aware of, we’ll cover it all. Plus, we’ll explore the proper handling tools to use and the importance of limiting handling to ensure the well-being of your ball python.

Understanding and Respecting the Preferences of Ball Pythons

Understanding and respecting the preferences of ball pythons is essential for their well-being and the quality of your relationship with them. Just like any other animal, ball pythons have their own individual preferences and comfort levels that should be acknowledged and honored.

To gain an understanding of their preferences, it is important to observe their behavior and body language. Some ball pythons may enjoy being handled and seek interaction, while others may prefer more solitude. It is crucial not to impose handling on a ball python if they display signs of discomfort or stress, such as hissing, striking, or attempting to hide.

Respecting their preferences entails allowing them to retreat and providing hiding spots in their enclosure. These hiding spots serve as safe spaces where they can feel secure and reduce any potential stress. Additionally, maintaining a consistent environment and routine can help ball pythons feel more at ease.

When handling ball pythons, it is important to be gentle and confident. Fully support their bodies to avoid causing any discomfort or injury. Always wash your hands before handling to eliminate any scents that may cause them anxiety.

By understanding and respecting the preferences of ball pythons, you can establish a positive and trusting relationship with these fascinating reptiles. Remember, each ball python is unique, so be sure to pay attention to their cues and adjust your interactions accordingly.

Times not to Handle

There are specific times when you should avoid handling ball pythons to ensure their well-being and safety. Here are some instances when you should not handle ball pythons:

  1. During shedding: Ball pythons go through a shedding process where their old skin is replaced. During this time, they may become a bit more agitated and less tolerant of handling. It is best to avoid handling them until they have completed the shedding process.
  2. After feeding: Ball pythons need time to digest their meals properly. Handling them immediately after feeding can cause stress, regurgitation, or other digestive issues. It is recommended to wait at least 48 hours after feeding before handling them.
  3. When they are stressed or showing signs of aggression: Ball pythons may display signs of stress or aggression, such as hissing, coiling tightly, or striking out. In such situations, handling could further agitate them and potentially lead to defensive behavior or bites. It is important to respect their boundaries and give them space when they are exhibiting these behaviors.
  4. When they are in a shedding box or hiding spot: Ball pythons seek out hiding spots during the shedding process for privacy and comfort. If you notice your ball python in a shedding box or hiding spot, it is best to avoid handling them as it indicates they are seeking seclusion.

It is crucial to observe and understand your ball python’s behavior to determine the right times to handle them. Respecting their needs and avoiding handling during specific situations can promote their well-being and reduce stress. Remember, each ball python is unique, and their preferences for handling may vary.

Health Issues

Health Issues are an important consideration when handling ball pythons. Although these snakes are generally low maintenance, there are certain Health Issues that owners should be aware of. One common Health Issue is respiratory infections. Ball pythons are susceptible to respiratory infections, which can be caused by improper humidity levels or exposure to drafts. It is crucial to ensure that the snake’s habitat is properly maintained with the right temperature and humidity levels to prevent these infections.

Another Health Issue that ball pythons can experience is shedding problems. These snakes regularly shed their skin, but sometimes they may have difficulty shedding completely, leading to retained skin. This can cause discomfort and even lead to infections. Owners should monitor their snake during the shedding process and provide a moist hide to help facilitate shedding.

Additionally, ball pythons can be prone to obesity if they are overfed or not given enough exercise. Obesity can lead to a variety of Health Issues, including heart disease and joint problems. It is important to provide proper nutrition and monitor the snake’s weight to prevent obesity.

By being aware of these potential Health Issues and taking proactive measures, such as maintaining the proper habitat conditions, assisting with shedding, and monitoring the snake’s weight, owners can help ensure the health and well-being of their ball pythons.

Proper Handling Tools

Proper handling tools are necessary to safely and effectively interact with your Ball Python, minimizing stress for both you and the snake. In order to handle a Ball Python properly, it is important to have the right tools, which include tongs, hooks, gloves, a container, and a thermometer.

TongsLong-handled tongs with rubber-coated tips are useful for safely picking up and moving the snake without causing harm.
HooksSnake hooks are designed to gently lift and maneuver the snake without putting stress on its body. These should have a smooth and curved end.
GlovesSnakes can sometimes become defensive or aggressive, so wearing thick leather gloves can protect your hands from potential bites or scratches.
ContainerA secure and escape-proof container is essential for transporting the snake. It should have a tight-fitting lid and be large enough for the snake to move comfortably.
ThermometerHaving a thermometer is important for monitoring the temperature inside the enclosure and ensuring it is within the appropriate range for the snake’s comfort.

By using these proper handling tools, you can ensure the snake’s safety and your own. Always remember to prioritize the snake’s well-being and handle them with care.

Limiting Handling and Recognizing Signs of Distress

To ensure the well-being of your ball python, it is crucial to be mindful of their stress levels and recognize the signs of distress. By limiting handling time, you can help prevent your snake from becoming stressed. Pay attention to the signs that a ball python is experiencing distress or discomfort, such as rapid breathing, hissing, attempting to escape, or defensive postures.

Respecting their preferences is also important. Each ball python has its own personality and preferences, so it’s essential to recognize signs of distress and not force them into interactions they are not comfortable with. Some individuals may tolerate handling more than others, so it’s essential to respect their boundaries.

To create a comfortable environment for your snake, it’s crucial to limit handling sessions to brief durations, such as 10-15 minutes, and provide ample rest periods between sessions. This will help minimize stress and allow your ball python to rest and relax.

Additionally, it is important to create a calm environment for your snake. Make sure the space where you handle the ball python is quiet, free from distractions, and has suitable temperature and humidity levels. This will help minimize potential stressors.

When handling a ball python, remember to handle with care. Always support its body and avoid applying too much pressure or squeezing. Recognizing signs of distress is vital during handling to ensure you’re not causing any harm or discomfort to your snake. Gentle and slow movements are key to making the snake feel secure and reducing the risk of injury.

By incorporating these techniques and being mindful of your ball python’s well-being, you can limit handling and recognize signs of distress to provide a comfortable and enriching experience for your snake. Happy handling!

Some Facts About “Do Ball Pythons Like to Be Held?”:

  • ✅ Ball pythons do not like to be held, but they will tolerate it. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Early exposure to humans reduces the fear and increases tolerance to being handled in ball pythons. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Each ball python has its own personality, and some may never fully enjoy being held. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Petting is generally uncomfortable for ball pythons, but they may tolerate gentle petting if they are enjoying time outside their enclosure. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ It is important to be cautious and observe a ball python’s body language to avoid pushing them out of their comfort zone during handling. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

Do ball pythons like to be held?

Ball pythons do not enjoy being held, but they can tolerate it to some extent. They are naturally shy and docile, and in the wild, they do not like to be touched or handled. However, with regular socialization and positive experiences, they can become more comfortable with human contact.

How often should I hold my ball python?

It is recommended to hold your ball python 1-3 times per week. However, you should never handle them more than once per day. Regular handling helps them stay accustomed to human presence and can improve their manageability and tolerance to being held.

What should I do to make holding a ball python an enjoyable experience for both of us?

To make holding a ball python a more positive experience, you can provide gentle petting, grooming, and feeding as incentives. These actions can help the snake associate human contact with positive experiences. Additionally, starting slow, using gentle touches, and being confident but gentle can make the snake more comfortable during handling.

Are there times when I should not hold my ball python?

Yes, there are times when it is best not to hold a ball python. These include when the snake is stressed, ill, not well socialized, shedding, or in a new environment. It is important to give them time to settle in and avoid handling them during these situations to prevent further stress or health issues.

What are the different personality types in ball pythons when it comes to being held?

Ball pythons can have different personality types when it comes to being held. Some of these personality types include laid-back, watcher, incredibly shy, anti-social, explorer, and aggressive. Each snake is unique, and their personality type can determine how they respond to handling.

How long should I hold my ball python during each handling session?

The duration of holding a ball python should be based on the comfort of both the snake and the handler. It is recommended to keep handling sessions under 20 minutes to avoid causing stress and possible health issues. It is important to listen to your ball python’s body language and stop if they show signs of stress or discomfort.