Do Ball Pythons Like To Climb?

Ball Pythons are terrestrial reptiles, but do they like to climb? The answer is yes. 

Male Ball Pythons are typically semi-arboreal whereas females tend to stay on the ground. 

Understanding their preference for climbing is crucial for providing a suitable environment in captivity that mimics their natural habitat.

Benefits Of Climbing

Climbing isn’t something Ball Pythons do recreationally, it’s a form of exercise to keep them healthy. They’ll climb trees in the wild to navigate their surroundings, keep them strong, and provide mental stimulation.

Physical Exercise

Just like humans, exercising increases our physical attributes like muscle growth. This is the same for Ball Pythons.

Providing climbing opportunities benefits your Ball Python. They’ll become stronger, have better metabolism, and increase heart health.

Mental Stimulation

When Ball Pythons are allowed to climb, they will. It provides mental stimulation by engaging their cognitive abilities and making them think and move in a specific way. 

The increase in enrichment will reduce stress, increase appetite, and promote an active and alert snake.

Natural Habitat

Ball Pythons are native to Western and Central Africa, they prefer environments such as savannas, sparsely wooded plains, and dry bushland habitats.

Ball Python Climbing Behavior In The Wild

Observing Ball Pythons in the wild has shown their natural ability in climbing. They will climb trees to hunt prey, evade predators, and navigate their surroundings.

Ball Pythons have been known to even nest in trees overnight as a safety measure to avoid predators.

Ball Python Climbing In Captivity

Ball Python Enclosure Setup

When setting up your Ball Pythons enclosure, you’ll need to include decor that allows them to climb if they want to.

I recommend decorations like the ones below, this is because they can be used to climb and hide, and rest. 

It’s important when you’re purchasing decor for your Ball Python to get heavy, sturdy, and large enough to support the weight of your snake as they maneuver over it.

  • Branches
  • Rocks
  • Bridges

Encouraging Your Ball Python To Climb

Temperature And Humidity

The environmental conditions will affect your Ball Python physically and mentally. If you provide optimal temperatures and humidity your Ball Python will be active, alert, and utilize the whole of their enclosure.

Ball Python Enclosure Temperature & Humidity Requirements: 

  • Cool Side: 76°F – 80°F
  • Ambient Temperature: 80°F – 85°F
  • Warm Side: 88°F – 92°F
  • Humidity Levels: 50% – 60%
  • Nighttime Temperature: 76°F – 80°F

If the temperature levels are too high or too low your Ball Python will hide away from the heat or be too cold to move their body.

Extended periods of incorrect environment levels can cause your snake to become sick and in extreme cases, it can be fatal.

Importance Of Hide Spots

Providing climbing structures is great for your Ball Pythons overall health, but your Ball Python still needs somewhere to hide and relax. 

Providing tight hide spots makes your Ball Python feel safe and secure. I recommend hide spots that when your snake is inside, its body touches all 4 sides of the hide. The tighter the space the more comfortable they are.

Avoiding Hazards

Ball Pythons aren’t the most agile snakes and can be clumsy. It’s important to have a soft landing under your snake’s climbing structures in case they fall. 

Summary

Yes, Ball Pythons like to climb, by replicating their natural habitat and providing suitable structures, you can create a fulfilling environment that promotes your Ball Pythons’ natural behaviors.