Even if you’re not a snake person, once you meet a ball python, there’s a good chance it’ll grow on you. They’re smooth and sleek. They’re a deep ebony or chocolate color with golden-brown markings. They’re gentle and meek, and when they’re afraid, they curl into a ball, tucking their head in the middle.
Ball pythons, which live primarily in West and central Africa, have grown on a lot of people—they’re believed to be the most popular pet snake in North America and Europe. About 800,000 U.S. households are estimated to keep snakes, based on the National Pet Owners Survey, though it’s not known how many of those are ball pythons.
From 1997 to 2018, more than 3.6 million ball pythons