Gongylophis (Eryx) colubrinus (Kenyan sand boa)

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Origin: Northern Africa in Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Libya
Length: 60 to 90 cm
Age: up to 25 years
The Kenya sand boa is a thickly built snake, with a narrow button and small eyes. This body is built to move easily through the sand. They are yellow or orange in color with brown spots on the body, the belly is white / cream colored.

Care
Experience: Beginner snake keeper
Food: Live or dead prey. Primary prey animals are mice and rats.
Adult feeding: every 18 days
Feeding young: Every 5 to 7 days
Water basin: Yes
Change water: 3 times a week
Food
The Kenya sand boa hunts from the sand on its prey, which includes several rodents. In captivity it is better to offer mice as prey animals. There is a choice to offer the prey animals alive or dead. Although it is advisable to offer Kenya sand boas dead prey. This is because it is more practical and prevents the food animal from injuring your snake. In addition, it is advised to offer the food animal with a pair of tongs and feed your snake outside the accommodation. This ensures that your hand is not associated with food and prevents your snake from grasping your hand during feeding. If you go for live food, you must supervise it during feeding. This is because the prey can injure the snake. If you hold the Kenya sand boa together with other snakes, you will have to take them apart for feeding, this will prevent the snakes from injuring each other while feeding.

Kenya sand boas are able to go without food for a long time, so don't worry if your boa doesn't eat for once. Keep an eye on the weight of the boa and the behavior. If this is too different from the normal situation, it is advisable to consult an expert.

Water
Due to the dry lifestyle, the Kenya sand boa does not need much water. A small water tank is sufficient to meet its water needs.

 CleaningTo prevent health problems with your snake, the accommodation must be cleaned regularly. This prevents the accumulation of harmful substances and diseases. It is advisable to clean the accommodation once a week. In addition, the entire enclosure must be cleaned and disinfected a few times a year to prevent the build-up of bacteria.

Handling
Moments pass when your snake must be handled, it is important that it is handled properly. When picking up the boa, it must be ensured that you pick it up from the rear at the center. Namely, if you pick it up at its head from the front, it can regard you as food and biting. You naturally want to prevent this.

The other things to look out for are: always handle your Kenya sand boa calmly and leave it with your waist on your hand or use a snake hook. Make sure your snake understands that you are going to handle it and move gently when you handle it. Also make sure that your hands are washed and do not smell like food. Finally, do not handle your snake when it is peeling and do not handle it in the dark.

Housing
Minimum enclosure for 1 couple: 70 x 60 x 35
Lying area: 0.4 m2
Day temperature: 24-35C (see the text below for more information)
Night temperature: 20-22C
Hours of light: 12 hours
Humidity level: 40% or lower
Ground cover: Chinchilla sand (at least 10 cm)
The Kenya sand boa has the unique habit of living in the soil and also lives a large part of its life there. So the enclosure does not have to have climbing possibilities. But the bottom must have a thick layer of sand. Some hiding places will have to be made in the form of pieces of wood, bark or an artificial cave. Because the Kenya sand boa is a soil inhabitant, it cannot regulate its heat by sitting higher or lower in the residence. To still offer a heat difference to this snake. There will have to be a warm and a cool part in the enclosure. The warm part must be between 32-35c and the cool part between 24-29 degrees. To get a heat difference in this way you can look at a heat lamp.

For the enclosure there are some extra things to look out for. The Kenya sand boas, for example, are quite good at escaping, it will have to be ensured that there are no cracks that they can go through. In addition, ventilation is needed to keep the air fresh and it is advisable to set up the enclosure out of the bright sun and as vibration-free as possible.

Behaviour
Hunting method: Constriting snake.
Lifestyle: Digging under the sand & night active
Character: They are calm snakes that spend most of their time lying under the sand. They almost never bite, only if you approach them from the front there is the chance that they will play.
Points of attention: The Kenya sand boa is a species that lives under the sand. This ensures that you can view it less and if you have lost it, it is probably covered by the ground cover.

Costs and Purchase
Legislation: The Kenya sand boa falls under CITES II, to own this snake you need CITES or transfer papers. You should get this when purchasing.
One-off costs: This includes the costs for accommodation, lighting, heating, water bowl and decoration. This can together cost a few hundred euros to a few thousand euros. The final amount depends on the quality and size of the products.
Fixed costs: Fixed costs include the costs for the feed, this is several tens of euros per year.
Unexpected costs: Costs have been incurred if your snake happens to fall ill or your equipment breaks down.

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