Agressive Ball Python, but doesn't seem scared just reaaaaaally angry

Hi everyone,

Just curious if anyone has encountered a young ball python that for whatever reason hates everything that moves? :sweat_smile:
I recently picked up a female GHI which is about 5months old, and from the moment I collected her she tries to strike anything with a heat signature, including the breeder when she handed her to me :sweat_smile: Ive tried handling her regularly to try get her to understand I am no threat, but can honestly say I think it’s making no difference whatsoever :roll_eyes: I have to distract her with one hand while scooping her from behind. Once she is in my hands she is “OK” as long as I don’t move a hand passed her :sweat_smile: but if someone walks past or the dog does METRES AWAY she will strike in the direction.
Ultimately it doesn’t bother me, she eats well and is growing healthily. I find it quite interesting and it keeps me on my toes because all my others are dog tame. I’m just curious if anyone else has had this issue and how they handle it?

Question is open to anyone

Thanks in advance :+1:t3:


My Pinstripe girl is the same. Any time I open her tub she hisses like I’m the antichrist, though she has never struck at me. I usually give her a moment to wake up and then she will be fine-ish. She is very twitchy compared to any other snake I own.


Cheers guys, I just find it strange that she doesn’t show the usual traits of being afraid, she won’t ball up if you try cover her, doesn’t hiss and she never tries to get away, if anything she comes towards me to show how big and scary she thinks she is :sweat_smile: as soon as I touch her tub she comes straight out of her hide and gets ready to attack, and it’s not out of hunger as she does it 24/7.

@doodle @eaglereptiles what ages are your grumpy snakes?

And out of curiosity does anybody know if behavioural traits are passed down genetically?

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My girl was born 17/07/18… So 2 a few days ago :disappointed: I didn’t even get her a cake.

There is a few topics around this… Here is one:
Individual snake personalities?


:hushed::hushed::hushed:You need reporting to the RSPCA or something, mean. :joy:

Thanks for the link, I’ll have a read :+1:t3:

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It is typically for babies up to a year or more to be very “aggressive”. You have to remember that this is instinct for them to think everything is out to eat them. most do grow out of it with some work, like what you are doing by continuing to handle them. Now with that said some are just “jerks” their whole life. :joy: :joy: Keep doing what you are doing and hopefully one day it will figure out you are not going to eat it and will calm down.


I just got done cleaning snake cages and I have a 1.5 year old jungle carpet python who is the same way. strikes at everything and refused to tame down. still not really big enough to hurt too much when it bites but I worry because sometimes it loses a tooth or too in my hand. I have had snakes get infections from broken teeth. Someone suggested wearing gloves. I had a pair of black mechanix gloves and thought WTH , when I wear the black gloves the snake does not strike at my hands. I have only been doing this for a few days now and not sure if it will work long term, but this snake strikes at the water when I mist the cage , yet does not strike at the glove. I can’t explain it but thought it might help.

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This is my fear… so far I’ve managed to judge distance well and avoid getting tagged :crossed_fingers:t3: but I’m not going to lie… I’ve always wanted to get bitten by one of my balls :sweat_smile: partly due to curiosity, and partly because I’m weird :man_shrugging:t2:

Would that be because it masks your heat signature and maybe being black they don’t visually pick up the movement as well? :thinking::man_shrugging:t2: And could the water be because he/she dislikes it/percieves the water as a threat? Most of my snakes don’t mind misting apart from one who panics and acts like I’m spraying acid on him :sweat_smile:

You have to get bit at least once. Key is to not pull your hand away after cuz it rips the skin and breaks their teeth. when I get bit I just wait for them to let go. Once I got bit by a 9 ft retic and scratched by a 2 pound rabbit on the same day the bite was basically gone in an hour but the damn scratch took 3 weeks to heal and got infected. give me snake bite any day over rodents!

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She looks scared to me. In my experience when they get scared they tend to go into one of 3 survival defense modes: fight, flight, or ball.

I’ve also found you can pretty reliably break a BP out of fight mode and get them to switch to one of the others at least temporarily. I distract them one one side while I get a hand behind them and slide my palm over their head gently from behind so that it keeps them from being able to bite. I’ll usually try ball them up under my hand and try to turn the feeling of my hand over them from being a threat to being something protecting them. It usually works pretty well and I feel them loosening up and relaxing after a few minutes.

While she’s in the cage one option is to try visibly block off the sides of the enclosure and then work on removing them as she is comfortable.

I have a GHI Fire female from late 2019. She is the same way, constantly striking at anything with a heat signature. Never balls up, never hisses just always striking. She is the first and only ball python I have held that tagged the hand that was holding her when she was a bit younger haha. At first I dreaded cleaning her tub, now I actually just overlook it and take the tags as they come. She is the snake that actually got me over my jumpiness when snakes strike. a bit of a double-edged sword. :sweat_smile:


Yeah, a lot of young snakes have that attitude. I’ve had several who started out that way. They usually calm down as they grow. Some even turn out to be really friendly once they realize you’re not a threat.

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i suppose you could give her a extra fat rat? lol


I have the same problem with my young GHI ball python called Reaper. She is the spawn of Satan.


My GHI female does the same to me and my wife, no matter how much we socialize and feed her.

how big is your GHI? they typically grow out of it after surpassing a certain weight range