Animal Stories - Colombian Boa Constrictor

Animal-World Information about: Colombian Boa Constrictor

   The Colombian Boa or Common Boa has an exotic appearance, and is considered by many to be the most beautiful of the constrictors.
Latest Animal Stories
Wolf Oberts - 2011-02-22
I have a male RTB that is approximately 3 years old, have had him since he was a little under 6 months old. He was eating every Monday but within the first 2 months of my family and I having him he was attacked by at least 2 of our 4 cats (I didn't know he was strong enough already to push out of the reptile tank we had for him and I worked nights at the time). It didn't change his attitude at all, he is still a very sweet and loving snake. What it did change was his feeding habit and over the years I have gotten more and more worried about him. He is very little for a 3 year old snake, his head is about as big as my thumb and he is only about 1.5 feet long. The reptile store owner is an expert on snakes and says there is nothing wrong with him and constantly checks him for me but is it natural for this breed of snake not to eat for almost 8 months? Is he really okay or is there something more I should be doing for him? Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated and do please feel free to e mail me as well: but please put Carlisle in the subject line so I don't accidentally delete it!

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  • Samantha - 2011-05-09
    Your RTB should be a lot bigger and should be eating like every week to every 2 weeks. What kind of setup are you using? How big is your tank? He should be at least 4.5 to 6 feet long. You need to ask another pet store. Do you have a picture? If so post it you could have a short tail....
  • big al - 2011-05-29
    I also have a RTB and I can tell you that it is quite normal. I have my Bo for 17 years now and I have kept a record of his everything since I bought him when he was just born. I can tell you that mine did not eat for a little over 9 months at one point, needless to say I was bugging out (going crazy). I do suggest setting up some sort of vet habit, once a year, twice a year is good, just to make sure all is going well. Things to look out for that might lengthen his non eating period is, his tank temp., his tank moisture, must have fresh water and lots of it, large bowl preferred, his lighting on timers, must have a hiding place, reduce his stress levels with a quiet home and always make sure his home is always clean of debris, wood mites, and ticks. Give him space to move around reduces tank clutter. AND OF COURSE HANDLE HIM, PLAY WITH HIM AND ALWAYS INSPECT HIS SCALES.
  • chris - 2011-08-20
    You may have the common or columbian boa,they are not the true red tail and they are much smaller than the true red tail boas getting only about 2 to 4 feet long.
Krista - 2011-04-01
Hey I have a 6 ft. RTB named Camo and I just got him a week ago. He seems to be a few years old but im not sure. He doesn't seem aggressive but he makes a wierd hissing heavey breathing noise when we hold him and when he's moving. Is this natural? please help!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2011-04-01
    The hissing while breathing is an indication of respiratory tract infection (RTI), and it may be in an advanced state. Causes of RTI are usually environmental conditions, the snake was allowed to get too cold or got damp/wet for too long.

    Immediately increasing the temperature of its cage, both day and night by adding an additional heat source. If you don't notice a change in a day or two, take your snake to the vet right away.
  • Krista - 2011-04-04
    i will do that thanks so much!
  • Scott - 2011-05-24
    Hi Krista. I have a RTB and I notice when he makes that hissing noise. He does not want to be bothered. Mine makes it after I had fed him and I try to give him another rat, he makes that noise. Also, when I go to handle him, he makes that noise, but that's only after he has eaten. You have to give them at least 2 days to digest their food.
  • Malcolm Clayton - 2011-06-22
    Hi I have a 9ft RTB named Fluffy. I have grown up with snakes all my life and have had many kinds. No matter how tame a snake can be they can always get agitated. My snake is very used to being held and still till this day she will hiss when agitated. Also after a good feeding its really best to give them no less than 3 days for digestion. As far as the respitory problem, yes its best to take your pet to the vet, but always remember they get agitated as well. I guess its their way of saying "HEY I'M GETTING TIRED OF BEING HELD SO PUT ME DOWN" LOL
  • Rico - 2011-07-15
    Hello, I have a CRTB and a Ball Python. I noticed that they both do the heavy outward blow of air from time to time. After research I thought it was an infection but I took them both to the vet and they are completely healthy. Apparently snakes just like to sigh from time to time. Check your snakes mouth for bubbles and the coloration of the inner lip and gums. If everything looks normal pink, with no bubbles than you are fine.
Jay - 2011-07-07
I am new to the boa keeping but have been enjoying it . I wanted to ask how often does a boa waste after eating? Mine has eaten for 2 months now once a week 3 or 4 mice each time and I have yet to see any waste in her environment. Also when her eyes are greyish does this only mean she is fixing to shed?

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  • David - 2011-07-09
    First of all Sex of the snake is important and how long is it (age will help). Normally a Columbian Redtail like most constrictors and snakes in general will show their eyes fogging up or turning grey. This is a sign of a shed coming. As for the snake not voiding (having a poop) as the snake is eating well and is nice and warm he/she will be growing at a good rate. This will cause the snake to be using most of its food in growth. Female Columbian Redtails will grow from 6-7Feet in length now as the grow at a fast rate they wont void as often as they will when they hit max lenth and depending on the snake may vary. If you feel uncomfortable with him/her not voiding maybe after another week or so bring it to a Vet that handles snakes and other reptiles.
John - 2010-11-17
I have a red tail and she is about a year and a half. She is mean and I need to know how to deal with this. Any information would be great.

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  • Anonymous - 2010-12-26
    It would be a good idea to try and hold her more often as this time with you allows a bond if she is small enough do this on your own so she learns your smell and touch.
  • Stephanie Giles - 2011-01-07
    The best advice I would say is if she bites-use gloves and handle her every day or every other day-not just during feeding times. Gradually, you won't need the gloves (hopefully) and she will get used to being handled even for a little while. You really don't want a 7-12 foot boa who is aggressive-though it does happen. Hope that helps.
  • Anonymous - 2011-02-17
    Play with it more often. Or maybe your not feeding it enough.
  • Daniel - 2011-04-01
    Everyone's right so far. Feed her more often in a separate location. (''example'' a bath tub) also it takes about a year for snakes to remember a smell. "like you" so, play with her often.
  • Scott - 2011-05-24
    Hey John, I found that you have to handle them often, give them attention. At least once a week. I try to handle mine as much as possible.
  • zion - 2011-06-01
    Let it sit on the floor and don't let any pets be around it.
    Don't touch it.
Jennifer - 2011-04-06
I have a Columbian Boa and a Peruvian Boa and the Preuvian Is now Preggo... what types of Babies will she have? How many can she have?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-07
    They will probably look a little like mom and a little like dad, same way as us humans. Of course they will have about 30 babies so hang on daddy your going for a ride.
Daniel - 2011-04-01
Hi I'm Daniel and I have a 5 year old RTB that's about 9 feet long and very healthy. My question is, can she regrow teeth? She was a little hungry a few months back. One of the small cats I had at the time got on her tank and my RTB tried to eat her. She got her teeth stuck in the tank cover and I had to break them to get her unstuck. Will they grow back? Please reply to ( Thanks for your help.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2011-04-01
    There is a good chance your red tail boa will grow back its teeth. Teeth can be lost during feeding, which necessitates that they have a way of replacing them. Most snakes have several sets of teeth come in throughout their lifetimes.
John - 2011-02-08
I have a RTB with a recessive gene leaning towards Albino. The snake shows no aggression at all only hissed once as a baby after shedding.
They are very docile snakes, believe me I owned a Retic and everyday it was a boxing match.

Marie - 2010-03-10
I just got a red tail and she is extremly aggressive. i'm not sure what to do....

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  • Bailey - 2010-03-12
    Red tails are very tame snakes, my husband and I have been raising snakes for the past 8 years. If your snake is showing aggression you can either take her back and see if they will trade the snake for another one or just start handling her all the time to tame her down. Once you build a bond with the snake and show no fear of her you can really enjoy her. I hope every thing works out for you and your snake, they are very cool to have as a pet.
  • Brian - 2010-03-27
    Here's a few things to take into consideration:

    She may be aggressive if she's getting ready to shed. Check for an opaque or bluish tint to her eyes. If they look cloudy, she's probably getting ready for a shed, and it's best to just leave her alone as she will be aggressive due to the fact that her vision is impaired.

    If she's a baby then they may be a bit nippy at first...with more handling they will gentle down.

    Finally, if she has mites or other parasites she will be aggressive. There are plenty of topical medicines available that help take care of that.

    If all else fails, take her to an exotic animal vet and see if there's something else going on. It may just be her personality.
  • crystal and charles - 2010-04-07
    When you have an aggressive snake it is best to handle it as much as possible so it can get use to you and being handled.
  • Brandi - 2010-04-24
    I have some suggestions for you... Feel free to email me at hope to hear from you soon! Brandi
  • Josue Manon - 2010-05-05
    Try to hold the snake and dedicate a lot a lot of time so she can get used to you. Also don't feed the snake in the same cage where she sleeps because when you wanna grab her, the snake will think you are gonna feed her. They are great animals. Tattooxtreeme.
  • mike - 2010-05-09
    If it is a baby WC (wild caught) imported they usually are they cannot determine if you are going to eat them or friend. If baby, wear latex rubber gloves if she does bite, they release they can't stand taste of latex. If that does not work do NOT pull! That could dislodge her teeth and kill her. I use a spatula or alcohol(whiskey) if you use wood(methyl) or isopropyl(rubbing) you can cause her to go blind and die. And do not go from the top of her, because things that want to eat her always come from above. Go from below her and she will get used to you by handling her 3-5 times a week for a lot of years, she will become a great addition to your family. I hope this helps you. If you want email me with comments or questions, I have been doing reptile rescue for over 20 yrs. and there is always something to learn from these majestic creatures! mike-
  • Tina - 2010-05-27
    Hi marie. i have got two a pair the male is my aggressive one. The only way I got him to calm down was to feed him wait a day then I would take him out and handle him as much as poss. The more you handle them and the more you feed will calm her down. Oh and don't feed her in the cage. Take her out feed her and then put her back. If you only get her out to feed every time you go to get her out she will think it's feeding time and will strike.
  • katie - 2010-06-26
    I just saw your post now and if you have solved this problem yet but I got a female red tail boa that was not tame at all and all I did was handle her everyday for about 2 weeks and now she is as tame as ever before every move she would strike but she is much better now, my bf can now hold her and I can take her outside with me and she is fine all I can suggest is handle her as much as you can but if you are scared of getting bit maybe you should find someone who wouldn't mind it is she does strike at them I hope this helps if you have not yet solved her aggression problem.
  • michael - 2010-07-10
    The reason why he is so aggressive is because they probably never got carried. You have to carry him a couple times a day so he could get used to you but it might take some time and don't show that you're scared when you go to hold him/her. He/she is getting used to the new home and it's going to take some time.

    I have a 42inch columbia red tail boa and I had the same problem when I first got him.
  • Tony - 2010-07-15
    Hey marie! I have a few questions to ask you about your boa so that I can help you understand the better nature of its actions! If you would like to speak with me you can E mail me at
    I would like to help you, so get in touch.
  • Jimmy - 2010-07-18
    Get a hold of her cover her head, lay her on top of you and just stroke her from neck to tail a number of times to tame her and get her used to hands touching her. I just recently got 3 boas and a 3.5 ft Columbian bit me and struck at me a few times. I worked with him more than my 5 other snakes and now he is a sweet heart. Never wants to leave my neck. Just happy that he leaves me breathing room. :)
  • Kristen - 2010-11-12
    If she is being aggressive, make sure you are not hand feeding her or she may think your hands are food and don't just take her out to eat otherwise every time the cage opens, that is what she will think it's time for and will strike. While young red tails like to eat frequently and a lot. Try feeding rats of proper size instead of mice and maybe feeding every 5 days instead of the normal 7. Always wash your hands before handling also. If you smell like food to her, then you are and she will strike. Also, never feed her in her tank or they can become very aggressive thinking it's feeding time always! With my old baby, she would eat whenever you would feed her even if it was only 3 days apart and she would eat more than one mouse a feeding.
  • Mandy - 2010-11-18
    Dear marie I too have a red tail who was aggressive I got her when she was a year old....Mine simply wanted more food I feed her 2 times a week opposed to once a week and took more time with her and gained the trust...most of the time we get these snakes whom have been abused and it takes trust.
  • derek - 2011-02-04
    Trade for one that doesn't.
adam - 2011-01-18
What do red tail boas do in winter time? My boa looks dead but it's been days and it don't smell her eyes changed to blue.

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  • Jenna - 2011-01-26
    Your boa is probably shedding. Her eyes are blue or "opaque" and she's not moving because when they are shedding the "opaque" eyes make them basically blind. If she should have started shedding by now since this post is kind of old. But I figured I'd let you know anyway.
  • lee - 2011-02-01
    More than likely your snake is about to shed make sure that the temperature is right and that it has a water container to be able to soak in.
chrissy - 2010-01-14
Hello, my name is Chrissy and I myself own a 6ft RTB. His name is Alice (after Alice Cooper,named before I owned him). I would like to share with everyone Alice's and my story. I have owned Alice for 2 1/2yrs Back in April he was attacked by a rat (his food) very badly. The rat ate 6 quarter sized holes in his body about 1/4 inch deep. I took him to the vet immediatly, while the doctor tended to his wounds and told me he would heal in time we returned home. Alice became very sick about a week later. He would barely move, and became very weak so we returned back to the vet. The vet pushed for him to be put down. As I sat there in the room holding him crying I said to him " I love you please dont leave me, you need to fight" with that being said he began to move his head from my lap up to my neck. I knew then that we were going to fight and I then refused to give up, because in my heart and what he showed it wasnt time to say goobye. I began mixing vitamins up to put in a syringe and force him to eat 4 times a day. I would soak him in the bathtub pick his scabs clean and put ointment on his wounds 2 times a day. We did this for 3 months everyday. There were many times I thought he wouldnt make it and came very close to loosing him. I would fall asleep holding him and when I awoke he would be right there either under the blankets with me or laying on my chest. Never once in all this medical attention did he ever show any signs of aggressiveness but I knew he was in pain. I would give him a little childrens tylonal before the baths to help ease the pain while I cleaned his wounds. Then the day came and he began to get stronger and show approvement. It was amazing! I then knew there was hope and let nature now take its course! Alice stopped eating for 8 months after that attack that really worried me that he would starve to death. Today he is eatting like a pig lol i guess to make up for the 8 months he went without. He is a very healthy, lovable, beautiful, boy. I have taken him back to his vet and they are amazed at how he has recovered. Him and me have a very close loving relationship and built a unbreakable bond. Our friends and family call him a spoiled mama's boy, but to be honest I wouldnt have it any other way!

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  • Nicole Templeton - 2010-02-23
    I am purchasing two rtb's for my two oldest children this weekend. Both have wanted a snake for quite some time and everything has finally come together to make it possible. The man we are purchasing them from is quite the expert on snakes and one of the first things he told us was to always feed frozen rats never live ones. My children did not really understand why (they didn't really care about feeding frozen vs live but were just curious as to the why). I plan on reading your story to them to help them understand the why. We are just learning about snakes and rely on stories like yours to guide us in our exciting adventure we are undertaking. We (the human members) are overjoyed to be adding Isis and Sekhmet to our happy family. Thank you for sharing your experience and I'm so glad to hear that Alice is doing well.
  • Patrick - 2010-03-29
    Hi, my boa suffered from the same nasty attack and I'm still under the treating process. I have a few questions, did the wounds heal completely? ( like is it traceless?) Also, how is his temperament? Did it change? Please email me: Thanks! If you have before and after pictures, that would be great! =)
  • jim - 2010-06-08
    Why on earth did you feed live? Never feed live - I have seen so many people lose their snakes that way - glad you're all doing better - I hope others learn from this- Jim 845 598 0585
  • Russ - 2010-06-16
    Crissy, I just read yours and alice's story. Very touching and glad he is doing great now, I started to tear up reading that he almost died. Again I am glad that he is ok and hope you two have many years together.
  • Destiney - 2010-07-17
    Your story is very touching and I feel the same way you do! Snakes have been an all time favorite of mine I owned my first boa when I was 6 and loved him. I now own 9 and am 19 years old. I believe every animal in this world deserves the same love from humans just as much as dog cat etc. And after I read your story I don't feel alone at what I think. I wish you and alice the best in life and health!
  • jackie - 2010-07-19
    I think that is the most amazing story. I love animals, and at ths point I'm waitin for my friend to pick me up to go get a baby girl boa who I fell in love with. I send loads of love to alice and to you.
  • Anonymous - 2010-10-22
    Red tail boas are cool.
  • Patrick Dugan - 2010-12-17
    Don't feed live animals to captive boas....I inherited a 6 foot boa that was bit twice by a rat.....he is healthy now and we only feed him frozen (thawed) rats and he eats them without hesitation....also live mice and rats can spread mites and other pestilence to your expensive snake.
  • Trevor - 2011-01-10
    Here's a good example why you shouldn't feed rtb live food, and if you do, do not leave the rodent with the snake without supervision.
  • brandon - 2011-01-21
    That's wassup I started not to read your story but I'm glad I did my snake falls to sleep with me too and wakes up wrapped around my ARM so I can relate.