Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Ball Python

Python regius

The Ball python is incredibly important to its native habitat because it plays a major role in rodent and pest control. By hunting these small species, the python helps keep the rodent population at a manageable level.

Range & Habitat

In the Wild: From Senegal to Togo in West Africa and eastward to the Nile River in southern Sudan. They are found in dry grassland, savanna, and forest edges.

At the Zoo: Zoo to You collection (not on exhibit, appears in education programs)

Conservation Status: Least Concern

This species struggles with hunting for the meat and its skin locally. Ball pythons are mainly taken from their wild habitat for the pet trade which eventually could become a detriment to the species.


In the Wild: rats, gerbils, jerboas

At the Zoo: humanely sourced mice and other small prey items.

Life Span

In the Wild – 10-15 years
In Human Care – 20-25 years

Fun Facts about the Ball Python

  • Ball pythons are good climbers but are usually seen on the ground.
  • They are nocturnal (active at night) and solitary (live alone).
  • Ball pythons can easily find prey in complete darkness because they have heat sensing pits located along their upper jaw.
Updated June 13, 2023
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