Our expert says:
Firstly I would stress that one needs a permit from nature conservation to keep all indigenous animals, including snakes such as brown house snakes. These rules do vary from province to province, thus I would find out what the regulations are in your area before acquiring such a snake, seeing as fines of R20 000 or more may be levied. Another snake that stays fairly small, is not too difficult to keep and that one does not need a permit for is the American corn snake. These are harmless, usually quite friendly if handled often, and come in beautiful colours. One can feed other small rodents, such as large mice, rather than rats. A snake that prefers reptile prey is the king snake. However, most reptile enthusiasts end up feeding rodents even to these snakes (and it can be quite difficult to convert them) due to price and the fact that finding enough reptile prey to keep your snake healthy can become a problem.
Dr Willemien van Wyk
Bird and exotic animal veterinarian
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