Melanie Hearse gets up close and personal with the hypnotic Diamond Python and talks to Dr David Vella about keeping one as a pet.
When it comes to keeping reptiles as pets, we tend to fall into one of two categories — those who desperately want to (some of whom are then lucky enough to make it happen), and those who can’t imagine many things spookier! While I fall into the second group, my husband is firmly part of the first, so it was with some interest I looked a little closer into these non-venomous snakes that are native to Australia.
Much to my surprise, the consensus is they make wonderful pets, and have a gentle, docile personality — though as with any living creature, temperaments can vary from snake to snake. They are popular with reptile enthusiasts as they are stunning to look at, and very rarely bite, making them a safer choice, and they are generally relatively easy and low-maintenance reptiles to keep in captivity.
All Australian snakes are protected species in Australia — you cannot take one from the wild. You will need to make enquiries about individual state and territory requirements for legalities on keeping snakes as pets. A licence is required to own a pet reptile in Australia, so make sure you enquire at your local state department whether you need one.