From what I can tell, people are equally divided when it comes to snakes. You either love them or hate them. I’m sure this is due to experiences and interactions with them. But, since there are no snakes in Hawaii, I didn’t really have an opinion one way or the other.
After meeting Pandora face-to-face, I’ve decided that I love snakes. Pandy is an eastern carpet python that was hand raised in captivity by Tanya’s daughter. She’s only about six or seven years old and still a baby in terms of life expectancy. It’s hard to estimate how long she is, but I suppose six feet is a good guess. Compared with the scrub pythons in the wild, she’s tiny.
I was fascinated to learn that Pandora seems to enjoy being in the company of people. It appears she also recognizes who you are as well, although I’m not sure if this is by sight, scent or the sound of your voice. She even appears to be more affectionate with some people and less with others. Who knew that reptiles could show such a range in feelings?
Pandy, like all pythons, only eats warm-blooded prey, so Tanya buys rats that have been frozen and sealed in plastic. Before each feeding, Tanya thaws the rat and warms it in hot water to imitate live prey. The reheated food is held in metal tongs and waved in front of Pandy, and in the blink of an eye she’s snatched on and wrapped herself around it to “kill” it. The process is fast and really incredible to witness.
With Pandora’s help, I’ve begun a lifelong affair with snakes. They’re very solid and sinewy. You can feel the strength in their muscles when they move and aren’t slippery or slimy in the least. Since I can’t bring one home, I guess I’ll just have to enjoy my time with Pandora even more.