As a teenager, I worked part-time in a zoo in my city. Every day after school, I would go and spend the next few hours cleaning the cages and doing other sundry jobs.
Soon, the supervisor started to assign me to the reptiles’ enclosure! I was fascinated with all the reptiles, but a green tree python attracted me the most!!
It was beautiful to look at and spent most of its time in trees. I really looked forward to spending time in its enclosure.
Now, I am living on my own and have a number of reptiles and other animals in my house. However, the pride of place belongs to my green tree python. These are very popular with people wanting a snake as a pet.
This python species is most common in the New Guinea islands in Indonesia, as well as the Cape York Peninsula in Australia. Many people refer to it as the “Chondro” because the original genus was Chondropython. It is an arboreal species and spends most time in the trees.
Size & Life Span
Young or baby green tree pythons are usually 8 to 10 inches in length. Once they become adults, it is the females who get more significant and longer than the males! The females are generally between 5 and 6 feet long while the males are between 4 and 5 feet in length. The males are also less muscular and more slender in comparison with the females.
Unlike many other python species, the green tree pythons usually survive to their late teens in the wild. In captivity and with proper care, they can live up to their mid-twenties, but not very often. These are delicate snakes and need proper care and handling to live long and healthy. On average, their life span is between 14 to 19 years.
The green tree python is beautiful to look at and is generally yellow, red, or dark brown-black in color. The color changes as they age and becomes the bright green which they are famous for. Some specimens continue to show the bright yellows of the younger self while others transform into a beautiful blue-green. All the colors are beautiful and unique. It is fascinating to see the various color changes.
The green tree pythons have a terrible reputation for aggressiveness. However, this is not entirely true! Their behavior depends on how you treat them. If someone grabs them suddenly or physically restrains them, they may show aggressiveness.
It is best to approach it from below as it is less threatening than grabbing from above. Show gentleness and calmness while handling your pet, and it will also remain calm.
One thing you should be careful about the green tree python’s diet is that these are slender snakes, and you should not overfeed them! These are arboreal predators in the wild. They love to feast on small rodents. The young ones should be able to eat a little mouse every 5 to seven days. A young adult can eat a medium-sized mouse every 7 to 10 days. You can feed one or two adult mice every 10 to 14 days, to your adult python. These snakes are sedentary, and if you overfeed, then they can become overweight, leading to health problems.
In their natural habitat, the green tree pythons experience rains almost every day, because they live in rain forests. You can stimulate this by spraying water with bottles or misting systems.
The moist and wet environment suits them. Wetness can also lead to an increase in bacterial and other infections, so ensure proper drying and cleaning of the area. They can drink water from the moist leaves or even from the sides of the cage. However, it is better to keep a bowl of clean water in the enclosure. Some like to drink from the container.
These are beautiful creatures, and you do want to see them readily. Look for a cage that can provide easy viewing. There are plastic and glass terrariums available, which are perfect for them. When they are young, please keep them in tanks, which are 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 foot. You can keep an adult python in an enclosure, which is 3 by 2 by 2 feet. It is up to you to make it as comfortable for your pet as you want.
There is a misconception that because these snakes are arboreal, they need a lot of vertical space in the enclosure. They need more horizontal space than vertical. The general rule is that your pet should be able to reach the bottom of the enclosure from the highest point without any problem. When they are active, they like to crawl through tree branches and move from one level to another.
You can place branches or perches in the cage for your pet. During the day, they generally perch and rest while at night they become active. By adding live plants, you can make it more exciting and create a humid atmosphere. These also give the enclosure a good look.
Light and Heat
Green tree pythons do not require full-spectrum lighting for calcium metabolization, but this light brings out the beautiful colors of your pet and showcases them. It is good to provide 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness every day to simulate night and day. They need a warm and humid environment. The average temperature should not go below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the enclosure is big enough, then provide two separate areas for basking and cooling. The temperature in the hot zone should be between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool or shade areas can have a temperature between 75 and 84 degrees. At night the temperature can down but not below 70 degrees.
Many substrates are suitable for green tree pythons. A newspaper is the cheapest and easiest substrate. If you are looking for a natural substrate, then coconut husk is the best. It can hold moisture for several days. Ensure cleanliness and hygiene. Clean as often as required to keep the mold or bacteria away.
When you choose a pet like green tree python, you must understand the full extent of responsibility and care that you need to extend. Doing a half-hearted job is not going to be enough. Give it the best enclosure, food, medical care, and handle it well to ensure long and healthy life and good companionship!