Finds a Boa Constrictor
by Dr. Alberto González Romero
Most boa constrictors are tame animals if you treat
them with care and respect. I found this boa in the
middle of the road, while driving to Chamela from Manzanillo.
It was really tame.
To catch the boa, I carefully put my foot over its
neck. Then I grabbed it with my hand. I traveled with
the snake on my side all the way to the field station.
The animal never tried to bite me, and as you can see,
my new friend behaved very well with the Earthwatch
The boa is a male and he's about one meter long. Boas
can grow to as big as four meters. It is the biggest
snake in Mexico. The biggest we've found at Chamela
was 1.6 meters.
Boas are common around Chamela and other parts of
Mexico, especially in the tropical dry forest and semideciduous
tropical forest. They eat a lot of prey animals, from
mice and rabbits to birds and reptiles (lizards and
iguanas). At Chamela we know the boas eat a lot of rodents
and black iguanas. In other places, we have found that
they eat even young, small animals like coatis, opossum,
foxes, and monkeys. But, they have a special taste for
After the snakes grow larger than 1.5 meters, they
do not have enemies other than big cats and eagles.
When they are smaller, they are eaten by birds of prey,
coatis, small cats, and even other snakes like the indigo
another very big snake.
In Mexico, some people catch boas and put them inside
their grain houses in order to protect the grains from
rodent attacks. Many farmers take good care of this
reptile because they know they eat a lot of pest rodents.
Unfortunately, humans are a big threat to this magnificent
animal. Some farmers and people from cities do not respect
the snakes and kill many each year. The snakes are hunted
for their skin, for food, and for pet trade.