If you had to believe everything you read about Anacondas, you might believe you couldn’t keep one as a pet. This is because there is information that tells us that these snakes can reach 40 – 60 feet in length.
Anaconda as a Pet
Snakes with such mythical proportions just don’t exist. The Anaconda as we know it realistically today is an enormous snake. The largest in the world, but more likely reaching 20 feet in length.
A Fascinating, Non-Venomous Serpent
In spite of the Anaconda having a bad reputation as a man-eater, they are non-venomous snakes. They make fascinating pets for people with a deep appreciation of serpents and their ways.
Snakes may seem like these low-maintenance pets, but in fact, they require a significant amount of input to ensure their health and contentment. If you are interested in keeping a snake as a pet, you may be wondering how on earth you will need to take care of it, and what kind of a habitat it requires.
The whole idea behind keeping a snake as a pet is to observe its fascinating cycles, how to feed it and how to handle it properly.
A Room Sized Habitat for this Large Snake
Take note that your Anaconda snake can grow to be anything from 9 to 20 feet in length, with the Yellow Anaconda being the smaller, and easier to handle. Their very size means essentially that they will need a room-sized habitat.
They are rainforest animals, so their large cage is going to require a warm environment with humid air. As a reptile, your Anaconda is going to require a heat gradient, meaning that it will require a warmer side to its enclosure. They are then able to thermo-regulate by moving around the cage to the temperature that suits them best.
As it is, these snakes have poor eyesight and they navigate their environment through senses of heat and smell.
In the wild, the Anaconda lives in tropical river systems and swamps with a hot, humid climate. The snake likes spending its time in murky waters, so you will certainly also need to be looking at an appropriately sized swimming pool for your pet.
Before moving onto enclosure setup for these snakes, always do plenty of research before considering this snake as a pet. The initial set up and enclosure for your Anaconda will be costly. Because of costs and the different sizes of snakes, it can sometimes be difficult finding the best cage for such a large reptile. It is precisely why so many snake-owners opt to build their own home-made snake cages.
Nothing is set in stone as regards to materials for a snake cage. Snakes are strong creatures and they defecate anywhere, bathe in the pools you provide and also spill water. You need to think carefully about material choice for cleaning purposes. Wood, glass, and plastic are all options, but with an Anaconda you’ve got to be thinking of a super strong cage that is impossible to escape from.
Young Anacondas can be housed in 50-gallon aquariums or cages. As your snake grows, it will become necessary to provide the snake with a cage large enough to house their full size.
You’ll want your snake to be capable of stretching out to its full length it at all possible. Quite frankly, for a snake enclose, the bigger the better. Certainly, a Green Anaconda will need room-sized enclosures of 75 to 100 square feet.
You may not be able to find a suitably sized Anaconda enclosure and may need to have one custom-built. The book ‘Yellow Anaconda’ by author Ben Team, available in Kindle, gives comprehensive information on Yellow Anacondas, caring for them, biology and cages.
Inside the Cage
The bottom of the enclosure should be covered. When choosing a substrate, there are many, and you can even use things such as newspaper and cardboard. A newspaper is excellent for maintaining humidity and for being odorless.
If you want to go the more ‘professional’ looking route for your snake, you can buy natural substrates. A good example is Exo Terra Rain Forest Substrate which is odor absorbing and heat-treated. It is ideal for humidity-loving reptiles as it controls air humidity levels naturally.
Pool and Filtering
A pool of sorts is going to be imperative for an Anaconda snake. It should be large enough for the Anaconda to fully submerge itself in. Water temperature has to be right and should be kept between 76 and 82° Fahrenheit.
Water filtration is absolutely necessary. This is because Anaconda snakes have large feces, and the pool can quickly become murky, unsightly and unhygienic – a breeding place for bacteria. Filtration is therefore critical, and of course, the filter will need to be out of sight of the Anaconda. Filtering is a huge issue and you will need to carefully plan draining systems. Maybe you will need to speak to a snake expert to get tips and advice on the best way to drain the pool and also sanitize it.
All snakes in the wild spend time ‘undercover’. They like to disappear out of sight under rocks, in caves, and under logs. A well-sized hide in which the snake can completely coil up in will be beneficial. It’s a natural instinct with snakes, and you need to support their natural behavior by ensuring hiding spots in the cage.
Miscellaneous Snake Items
There is nothing to stop you from investing in other snake accessories to make your Anaconda’s environment attractive. You may want to forage around outdoors and find a nice large branch for your snake to perch on. Decorative jungle plants, stones, and pebbles can all go towards providing a natural jungle- or rainforest appearance for your Anaconda.
Heat and Lighting
Your green Anacondas will require daytime temperatures of 80-92°and a night-time temperature of 75-80°. You can buy heat lamps from Omaykey for example. These 100W black infrared heat lamps are easy to install and is the ideal 24-hour heat source. Input voltage is AC 90-120V and the full size is 2.95’’ x 4.13’’.
These lamps are a popular chouce because the heating is more natural, like the sun, also lighting the enclosure to some extent, which is important for viewing purposes. Anaconda snake pet owners will need to mist the enclosure twice a day, to also keep the substrate moist. The enclosure should be sprayed daily, sometimes twice daily, to maintain humidity.
You can buy programmable misting units for snake enclosures for indoor or outdoor use and for different durations. Green Anacondas require a period of high humidity when their shedding cycle begins. The right humidity allows the snake to slough off its skin in one piece as opposed to several smaller pieces.
Feeding and Diet
Your Anaconda snake is a carnivore and it eats other animals. They eat fish, capybara, rabbits, rodents, and pigs. Feeding time can be a dangerous time to be near a large constrictor snake so you need to establish a safe feeding method. Hatchlings can take mice, while rabbits, chickens, and pigs will satisfy the adult snake.
Be careful with feeding your Anaconda live prey. This is because a rat or a chicken will put up a fight with your snake, and in captivity, your pet snake can be injured so that the wound becomes infected. Dead animals can be a better option, especially since snakes in the wild are opportunistic, and will feed on dead animals killed by other animals.
Food can be offered from long-handled tongs or hooks. Juvenile Anacondas can be fed every 7 days on frozen mice for instance. Frozen snake foods such as UGRodents ensures no hassle or mess. Packets come with 10 mice in a pack. Frozen mice which are thawed are a safe method of feeding your snake.
Adult Anacondas can be fed every 2-3 weeks. It’s your responsibility to keep an eye on your snake’s weight. You can adjust feeding times according to seasonal changes and behavior of the snake, bearing in mind that both under- and overfeeding can lead to a variety of health issues.
There is no denying that the Anaconda is an amazingly impressive reptile, super for keeping as a pet. It is, however, facing legislation in certain countries now and this may prevent it from being kept in captivity.
Do research on keeping one of these snakes and whether it is legal to keep one as a pet in your country. It pays to be a responsible snake owner.
You can count yourself lucky to be able to share your life with such an awesome animal. Do research on keeping these snakes as pets to avoid any serious mishaps while it is in your care. Brought up properly and looked after properly, the Yellow- and Green Anaconda can be a calm pet, interesting to interact with.
Don’t show off with it when visitors come around. Some people like to boldly grab at it, and the snake doesn’t like behavior like that. It will become defensive and strike out at you. Your visitors may never see you again.
Anacondas are smart and can learn to trust you if you provide it with positive, calm experiences, with or without visitors.
Do thorough research before you acquire an Anaconda so that both you and the snake can live safely and in harmony together.
Please read: CAN YOU KEEP A BURMESE PYTHON AS A PET?
- Yellow Anaconda. https://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Anacondas-Anaconda-Biology-Anaconda-ebook/dp/B01EREANO2
- Substrate – https://www.amazon.com/Exo-Terra-Forest-Substrate-Quart/dp/B01G8NZIU4https://
- Heat Lamps – www.amazon.com/OMAYKEY-Ceramic-Digital-thermometer-Infrared-Emitter/dp/B078TDWPW5/ref=lp_2975516011_1_10?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1552395650&sr=1-10
- Frozen Mice. https://www.amazon.com/UGRodents-10-Pack-Frozen-Adult-Mice/dp