How to Handle a Rosy Boa (Safely)

Rosy Boas are said to be some of the best beginner-friendly snakes you can keep as pets. Some would even say that they are right up there in terms of the safest pet reptiles for most pet owners.

But just because the Rosy Boa is safe and quite docile it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t handle it correctly.

That said, how do you handle a Rosy Boa?

The right way of safely handling a Rosy Boas is to be gentle enough with it and to allow it a certain level of freedom while it is in your hands. Do not grip tightly and always make sure that it feels safe while being handled. It is best to avoid handling it right after eating or while it’s shedding. Avoid approaching your rosy boa from above, as this mimics predator behavior in the wild.

Even though the Rosy Boa is comparatively one of the safest snakes you can keep as a pet, there is still a certain procedure to follow when you are handling it.

After all, it is still an animal that may end up reacting violently if you are too rough with it as this is a common way for any animal to react in an attempt to defend itself.

Are Rosy Boas easy to handle?

rosy boa in a beginner's hands

Everything you need to know about caring for Rosy Boas in captivity:
Read our Rosy Boa Care Sheet (Complete 101 Guide)

A lot of people tend to fear snakes because they are usually portrayed to be aggressive animals that can injure or kill people when they are given a chance to attack.

However, that is not always the case when it comes to these reptiles because there are actually some snakes that are quite great to keep as pets due to their gentle and somewhat docile nature. The Rosy Boa is one of such snakes.

Rosy Boas are actually some of the most docile snakes you can find in the market as these snakes are generally not aggressive. They rarely show their aggressive side to humans and may even become quite friendly towards people.

This is why the Rosy Boa is often one of the best snakes to keep as pets for those who are looking to become first-time snake owners. That said, Rosy Boas may be safe but are they easy to handle?

As a matter of fact, Rosy Boas are actually easier to handle than most other snakes. Some snakes may not be venomous or are less aggressive than others but they can still be difficult to handle because they are fearful of humans or are quite defensive.

But that is not the case when it comes to the Rosy Boa because adult Rosy Boas that were properly socialized and have gotten used to getting handled are some of the easiest snakes to handle.

So, if you are someone who wants to start taking care of snakes, the Rosy Boa should be the best beginner snake for you because of how it is quite easy to handle as long as you know the general rules of handling a snake properly.

How do you properly handle a Rosy Boa?

While we did say that the Rosy Boa is one of the safest snakes in terms of handling as it is quite easy to handle, there are still some things that you need to know when you are handling a snake. So, how do you properly handle a Rosy Boa? 

Follow these tips to know how you can easily handle your very own Rosy Boa:

  • Give younger Rosy Boas time to adjust to the new situation and environment they are in. Juvenile snakes are more likely to show their aggressive side than adult ones because they are still fearful of people.
  • Before attempting to handle your snake, always make sure that you wash your hands well. This is for your own safety and that of the snakes. That’s because the scent of rodents might be clinging to your hands if you had just fed your snake or actually handled some of the domesticated mice you keep as food for your snake. Meanwhile, you also need to make sure that your hands are clean because they may carry bacteria and parasites that can be dangerous to your snake.
  • Do not handle a Rosy Boa that appears to be stressed. 
  • Also, avoid handling a Rosy Boa that had just fed. Wait for about a day or two after feeding the snake before you attempt to handle it.
  • To start handling your Rosy Boa, slowly reach for it and never in a sudden manner so as to avoid startling the snake.
  • Gently touch it before attempting to pick it up. Touching it will allow the snake to notice you and to process the situation.
  • Reach in and gently wrap your hands around the snake’s body without clasping your hands close to its head.
  • As you carry the snake in your hands, make sure that you are not holding it tightly. Holding the snake too tightly will make it feel like you are restricting its freedom and you are a threat to its life. After all, some of the Rosy Boa’s natural predators tend to hold the snake tightly (such as a bird of prey, for example).
  • Simply allow the snake a bit of freedom to move around your hands as you hold on to it securely but not too firmly. The firmness of your grip should be enough such that the snake is allowed to move around but doesn’t fall off your hands. Meanwhile, you may want to use an over and under grip with both hands so that the snake doesn’t fall.
  • Do not suddenly drop your Rosy Boa while it is in your hands because this will hurt it and cause injuries.
  • Try handling the snake 10 to 15 minutes in total every week so that your Rosy Boa will adjust and get used to being handled regularly.

Will a Rosy Boa attack if you don’t handle it correctly?

rosy boa juvenile biting a finger

Rosy Boas may be quite docile but will they actually try to attack you if you don’t handle them correctly? The truth is that there will always be a chance that a snake will try to attack you if it feels threatened or if it doesn’t feel secure when you are handling it. However, the manner in which they try to defend themselves will vary.

Some snakes will bite you if they feel threatened, and that is the most common way for them to actually retaliate if you don’t handle them well.

However, the Rosy Boa seems to be different because this is a snake that rarely bites. There are some instances that it will still bite a person when it needs to such as when it is stressed or if it associates a person’s hand with food. But such instances are rare.

Instead, the Rosy Boa will most likely release a musk that is meant to repel predators.

This is its natural way of defending itself instead of biting. However, you still shouldn’t be too complacent because the Rosy Boa may still end up biting you if it actually feels threatened and if its musk doesn’t work.

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