Pet Corner: David Slugaj and “59”
05/02/2017 04:15PM ● Published by Jennifer Gonzalez
Gallery: Pet Corner: David Slugaj and “59” [13 Images] Click any image to expand.
Meet David Slugaj (a/k/a “Tonga” or “Tongasaurus”) and his Coastal Queensland Carpet Python named “59”
Q: What is your snake’s name?
A: The snake pictured is named "59" for the markings on her back, in the shape of a 59.
Q: How did your snake come to live with you?
A: She was purchased from a breeder in New York and shipped to me at a few weeks of age.
Q: What kind of snake is she? Do you know how old?
A: She is a Coastal Queensland Carpet Python. A native species of Australia. She is about 3 years old now.
Q: How long is your snake?
A: She is about 5 feet long currently. She will be around 9 feet when she is full grown.
Q: What color is your snake?
A: She is a mixture of dark greens and pale yellows.
Q: Why did you want to have a snake for a pet?
A: Honestly, I find watching them eat fascinating, even after nearly 25+ years of keeping them.
Q: What’s your snake’s favorite things to do?
A: EAT and SLEEP!
Q: What does your snake eat?
A: She eats rats, about the size of a woman's shoe, size 6.
Q: How often do you feed her?
A: I believe in feeding randomly, more like they eat in the wild. She is fed between once a week and once every three weeks.
Q: Can you explain where your snake lives? A cage? An aquarium?
A: She will be moving to a new cage this week. It’s a 2’ x 2' x 4’ cage I built for her. There is a cave for her to hide in and some wood for her to crawl on, as well as a large water bowl.
Q: Likes? Dislikes?
A: Warm Weather, food, food and more food. She is not a big fan of being taken from her cage, although once she is out, she calms right down.
Q: If your snake were a human, what kind of human might your snake be? Would she have a favorite cereal? A favorite ice cream? What kind of television shows would your snake watch?
A: She would be a grouchy loner, much like myself. I imagine she would like Lucky Charms, vanilla ice cream with grape juice, a recent favorite in my household, and Futurama.
Q: If your snake had a profession, what might it be?
A: Pest Control! She could eat her work!
Q: Does your snake do anything special?
A: Probably entertaining and helping educate people who are afraid of snakes. She is a good one for this, as she has a very mellow personality.
Q: Is she venomous?
A: No, she is not. She is a constrictor. She wraps around her prey squeezing the chest so that each time the prey breathes out, they cannot pull in more air.
Q: How old can a snake live to be?
A: It depends on lots of factors, but I would hazard a guess at up to 20 or so years.
Q: Does your snake shed her skin?
A: She does. She sheds each time she grows a good bit. If the shed is complete, I try to save them for friends to give to kids. There are also a few companies out there that use the sheds to make cellphone cases and jewelry with snake sheds instead of with actual skin from dead snakes.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to include?
A: As a general rule, there is little need to fear a snake, they will not come after or attack you. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. And since we as humans are so much bigger, all it takes is a few steps back, and you are out of reach of the snake. I feel strongly that you should let them live, unless of course, you prefer to live in a world over run with rodents. If you try to move it, or kill it, you are greatly increasing the chance you are going to get bitten. And should a snake prove to be a venomous snake that bites, you could be in a great deal of pain and danger. Better, just to go your separate ways. If you just cannot live with a snake in your space, for what ever reason, you can normally ask around on Facebook, and someone knows someone like me, who will come and help you deal with the problem. The same for turtles and snakes found injured on the roads. Sometimes they can be saved if gotten to care. There are a lot of people like myself who rescue them, evaluate injuries and do what can be done before returning them to the wild as soon as they are able to again fend for themselves.
Check out Tongasaurus Rex Reptile Rescue on Facebook to find out more about the reptiles and animals Tonga rescues.