Ball Python


Also known as royal pythons, these snakes are found in the grasslands and open forests of West and Central Africa. The name "royal python" comes from stories that Cleopatra and other African royalty used to wear them around their wrists. Ball pythons spend most of their time on or under the ground in burrows. They are most active at dawn and dusk. They inhabit savanna grasslands or open forests and are found in areas that have been cleared for farming. They are known for the protective mechanism of “balling,” where they form a tight ball with the head at the center in response to threats, earning them their common name, “ball python”. Most python species have special temperature-sensitive "pits", or holes, along their jaws that can sense the heat of a nearby animal. On Harry these look like red dots or small holes on either side of his upper lip. 

Click HERE for a Ball Python Activity Sheet!

Our Current Resident

Hana, Female - Hatched 2022 (estimate)

Hana came to ZooMontana in 2023 from the Colorado Reptile Humane Society, where she was a pet surrender.  Her calm demeanor has allowed ZooMontana to work with her to become an ambassador within the Education Department.    


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Boidae
  • Genus: Python
  • Species: Python regius

Animal Facts

  • Carnivore: eats exclusively rodents
  • Population: stable
  • Habitat: Grasslands
  • Nocturnal: active during the night

Our Animals