Kannur youth befriends snakes, sets new trend in pet sale

Kannur youth with african ball python

Kannur: Since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, the whole trend of pet sales in Kerala has undergone a huge array of changes. Among Malayalis, the concept of an ideal pet has now shifted from dogs and cats to foreign snakes. Reportedly, African ball pythons, as they are called, are currently the most celebrated pets in the state.

Mohammad Hisham, a native of Pazhayangadi in Kannur, who has been buying, breeding and selling snakes says, “The trend of pet sales in Kerala has changed rapidly. The demand for African pythons has gone up”.

Hisham, who owns African snakelets that are only two months to three years old, buys his pets from outside Kerala. Other snake species include king, milk snake, blood python, carpet python, white-lipped python, green tree python and Kenyan sand boa. These non-poisonous snakes cost around Rs 25,000 to Rs 4 lakhs and are delivered in pet cars and travellers.

“In order to survive, a snakelet needs to eat at least five rats a month. However, the snakes which are in their reproductive stage are fed once every three or four days. They are bred in an enclosure made of plastic fibre tanks and are always kept in humid conditions”, says Hisham.

Hisham, son of MV Jaffar Sadhique and M Shahina, is a final year B.Sc Food Technology student at Mangaluru P A College.

“When I go to college, my family takes care of my snakes. At home, there are foreign bird species and Australian Gliders too”, he added.

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