Snakes like to hide to feel safe and secure and ball pythons are no exception. Hides or “hide boxes” are necessary because they provide an area of retreat for your ball python. You should provide at least one hide area at minimum but the ideal scenario would be a tank with 2-3 hides distributed evenly throughout the tank. Simply placing a hide in the tank in and of itself just for the sake of having a hide in the tank is not enough. “Wait a minute Ron! I’ve read some of your other blog posts and I’m not sure if you’re going schizophrenic on us again because first you say they need hides and now you say it’s not enough. What gives!?”
I’m going to share with you a few photos sent to me from customers that wanted to make sure they had their tank setup properly. I’ll then show you visually what I mean by “proper hide placement” so you'll have a better and much clearer understanding of what I mean.
Oops, wrong photo (sorry about that folks - bad kitty!) . Here’s the correct photo:
The problem that I see with this tank is the placement of the hide. It’s positioned so you can easily see the ball python in the hide. It’s called a “hide box” because your ball python should feel like its indeed hiding. How can it feel secure if it can see everyone walking back and forth through the tank while it’s supposed to be hiding? Here’s another photo of good hide placement.
The entrance to the hide is opposite the largest surface of the tank, which more than likely has a lot of human traffic moving to and fro throughout the day. The ball python will feel more safe and secure in this hide arrangement because the entrance to the hide is facing an area with very little traffic.
I know we all want to see our beloved ball python at all times but for the sake of the snake, position the hide so it’s truly hiding. And whenever you tell yourself, “Forget what Ron said, I’m changing the position of the hide so I can see the snake”, just think of how awkward you’d feel if you were “sitting down” reading a newspaper or magazine and out of nowhere the doors and privacy walls surrounding the stall in the public restroom that you were occupying suddenly “vanished!” into thin air and all eyes were instantly focused on you? Not a pretty picture at all, right? Same thing applies to your ball python. Give it some privacy; position the hides so they truly hide your ball python.
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