Slithering around Eckerd’s Beta Dante dorm is a friendly, and as of right now little, ball python named Oliver. He lives with his owner Natalie Novak, a marine science major from Chicago, Illinois.
Novak has always been an animal lover and has wanted a reptile for as long as she can remember. She described how a friend had a ball python and she would watch it on occasion. This is where her love for the species came from.
“I’ve always loved watching him so I decided to have my own little snake child,” Novak said.
Oliver loves laying on his fake plants in his terrarium, wrapping himself around his owner’s legs while she does homework and even going on occasional walks. Even snakes need a breath of fresh air. According to Novak, he is a good little friend to keep her company.
Ball pythons (Python regius) are native to sub-Saharan Africa and are one of the most common beginner pets when it comes to snakes. Due to their size, how docile they are and how easy they are to handle, many people choose this species.
Along with their calm temper, they are also low maintenance and cost friendly. Ball pythons do not require much upkeep, only requiring to be held once a day to become comfortable with humans.
Oliver is only a few months old, so as of right now he eats frozen mice. According to Novak, one day he was being picky, only wanting a live mouse. She stated that once he gets bigger, he will be eating frozen and maybe even live rats.
It is expected that Oliver will grow to be between 12 and 15 inches long once fully matured as he is among the smallest species of the African pythons.
Oliver will continue to grow and call Beta Dante home with Novak. Keep up to date on Oliver and Novak’s adventures by following him on Instagram (@oliverthegreatsnake).