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The Green Tree Python

Owning a Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) can be a thrilling experience for experienced reptile keepers! Here’s a comprehensive guide to caring for one:

  1. Habitat Setup: Green Tree Pythons require a vertically oriented enclosure due to their arboreal nature. A tall glass terrarium or custom-built cage with plenty of climbing branches, vines, and foliage is essential. The enclosure should offer both horizontal and vertical perches to accommodate the snake’s climbing behavior. Substrate options include coconut husk fiber or cypress mulch. Ensure the enclosure has proper ventilation and maintain consistent temperatures and humidity levels.
  2. Temperature and Humidity: Green Tree Pythons require a thermal gradient in their enclosure, with a warm basking spot ranging from 85°F to 90°F (29°C to 32°C) and a cooler area around 75°F to 80°F (24°C to 27°C). Ambient temperatures should remain in the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 24°C to 27°C). Nighttime temperatures can drop slightly. Humidity levels should be maintained between 50% to 70%, with occasional spikes during shedding periods. Mist the enclosure regularly to maintain humidity, and provide a humidity box for shedding.
  3. Diet: Green Tree Pythons are carnivores and primarily feed on rodents in captivity. Prey items should be appropriately sized for the snake’s girth, typically ranging from mice to small rats. Some individuals may prefer live prey, while others readily accept thawed or pre-killed prey. Feed adult snakes every 1-2 weeks, adjusting the frequency based on individual metabolism and activity level.
  4. Handling and Temperament: Green Tree Pythons are known for their striking appearance but can be defensive or aggressive, especially when young or during handling. It’s crucial to approach handling with caution and respect the snake’s boundaries. Regular, gentle handling from a young age can help desensitize the snake to human interaction. Always support the snake’s body and avoid sudden movements to minimize stress.
  5. Healthcare: Regular health check-ups are essential to monitor your Green Tree Python’s well-being. Watch for signs of illness, including lethargy, loss of appetite, respiratory issues, or abnormalities in shedding. Keep the enclosure clean to prevent bacterial or fungal growth. Consult a reptile veterinarian experienced with Green Tree Pythons if you notice any health concerns.
  6. Enrichment: Providing environmental enrichment is crucial for the physical and mental well-being of Green Tree Pythons. Offer a variety of climbing structures, branches, and foliage to simulate their natural habitat. Additionally, rotating hiding spots and rearranging the enclosure periodically can prevent boredom and encourage exploration.
  7. Lifespan and Commitment: Green Tree Pythons are long-lived snakes, with lifespans averaging 15-20 years in captivity and potentially longer with proper care. They require a significant commitment in terms of time, effort, and resources to ensure their well-being throughout their lives.

Overall, owning a Green Tree Python can be a rewarding experience for dedicated reptile enthusiasts willing to meet their specialized care requirements. With proper husbandry, handling, and enrichment, these captivating snakes can thrive in captivity and provide years of enjoyment for their owners.

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