Albino Snakes as Pets

It is not hard to spot an albino snake, but is it hard to care for one?

I was in my local pet store with my sister one day when I noticed an albino python named Butterscotch. Butterscotch is not actually for sale, but is on display for others to look out. This made me wonder why I have always seen albino snakes in the zoo or at the aquarium, yet I have never heard of a person owning an albino reptile. Are they more difficult to care for? Do they have very sensitive diets? I did some research, and here is what I found out.

For starters, an albino reptile is a reptile that is born with a genetic abnormality known as albinism. Albinism is when there is a lack of pigment, or coloring, in the body and eyes of the animal. The most common snake breeds to have albinism are corn snakes and Burmese pythons. Typically, albinism results in an animal that is all white in color, but it can have other colors such as off-white and yellow. The eyes can turn red in color, and some albino snakes have poor eyesight.

If a snake is being kept as a pet, the white skin color and bad eyesight might not be that big of a deal. For snakes in the wild, however, they are more in danger of becoming the prey for another animal. This is because the animal lacks the ability to camouflage itself like its pigmented counterparts—plus, sight is one sense it just can’t depend on to avoid danger!

As far as diet and treatment, snakes with albinism do not need to be treated differently than other snakes. So if you can find an albino snake, enjoy this unusual creature.  And be proud that your having it as a pet might be extending its life!

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