How Dangerous Is A Boa Constrictor

Are you thinking about buying a boa constrictor, but are worried about the wellbeing of your family?

Do you have children and worry about them being around a boa constrictor?

If you are afraid of what a boa constrictor might do or how it might ask you might be wondering:

How dangerous is a boa constrictor?

While boas have a reputation as dangerous animals, they are routinely and safely kept as pets, despite their strength. They are not known to be aggressive, but if mishandled, they will do damage by squeezing or strangling a person.

Boas are not known for attacking people, but as with most animals, if not adequately cared for or mishandled, they will protect themselves and even accidentally do some damage when mishandled.

Read on for more information on how dangerous a boa constrictor is.

how dangerous is a boa constrictor

How Dangerous Is A Boa Constrictor?

Over the years, boas have become an increasingly popular choice for a pet snake, but these animals have a reputation for being dangerous.

But are they?

Boas are safe pets because even though they are often large and are very strong, they are not venomous and are not known for being aggressive for the sake of being aggressive.

There have been incidents surrounding boas and humans.

Sometimes pet boas will bite their owners, and there have been some injuries resulting from a powerful squeeze from a boa.

Aggressive behavior is often the result of several factors.

Snakes sometimes may mistake your hand for food, and you could suffer a bite.

This isn’t a calculated attack.

Instead, the snake is just acting instinctively and is just hungry and looking for their next meal.

A boa who is sick is not going to want to be messed with and might react aggressively.

Other things like poor conditions, stress, and general mishandling might be the root cause of such an incident.

As with most animals, even dogs, when boas are mistreated or feel threatened, they will protect themselves and do some damage.

If you properly socialize and work with your boa, most incidents are preventable.

You will also need to provide it with a safe and quality home and proper care at all times; this means when it is healthy and when it isn’t feeling well.

You should use caution, and you should be careful, but this doesn’t mean you have to be afraid to bring these animals into your home as a pet.

Boas And Children

Boas get to be quite large, measuring up to 13′ or 14′ feet long, and their muscles make them a strong snake.

While children and boas aren’t a complete no-no, we don’t recommend leaving them alone with a boa.

Supervision is the best policy when the animal is out of its enclosure.

With how big and strong the adult members of this species are, a small child could be easily overpowered.

Boas don’t actually suffocate their prey; instead, circulation is cut off, commonly causing a heart attack in their prey.

Besides hunting, boas also constrict when they are frightened or startled.

If a snake’s coil is in the wrong place, like a neck, the child could be seriously injured or even killed.

Avoiding letting the animal coil itself around anyone’s body.

Kids also likely don’t know the proper way to handle a boa, and one wrong move could make the snake feel threatened, resulting in a bite.

Are Boas More Or Less Dangerous Than Other Snakes?

Many snakes are more dangerous than a boa constrictor, in part because they are venomous.

One bite could cause irreparable damage to you or whoever is bitten.

When you focus on nonvenomous snakes, the degree of dangerousness often depends on the size and heft of the snake.

For example, anacondas are like boas in how they coil and constrict their prey, but because they are a larger snake, they do have more power and are considered more dangerous.

The largest a boa will grow is about 13′ feet, but anacondas are often double this size, with the largest growing up to 30′ feet.

Also, they will weigh as much as 550 pounds and measure up to 12″ inches in diameter.

Stack the largest boa against this kind of muscle and power, and you won’t even come close.

Safely Handling A Boa Constrictor

As we discussed above, part of avoiding a dangerous situation with a boa comes from proper handling.

If you want to correctly handle your boa, there are a few things you will need to know.

There are a few times you should avoid handling your boa as they are more likely to bite.

Don’t handle the animal while it is shedding as this is an uncomfortable time for them.

Also, avoid handling right after feeding as the animal could regurgitate their food.

When you are attempting to handle the animal, move slowly, as these animals will be on edge if you rush at them to grab them.

If you are already holding them, still move slowly as they are not going to like being jostled around.

Even though these animals will constrict and constrain their prey, they don’t like to be constrained.

Let them move freely around in your hands as you are holding them, and if they begin to snake around your body or neck, gently lift and move them to a safer position.

When you do readjust, do not grab them around the middle, instead unwind the snake from its tail.

Use caution and be careful, and your boa constrictor will not feel threatened during handling sessions.

Further reading: Boa constrictor handling


Any animal, not just a boa, may lash out at their owner anytime and do some harm.

Illness, poor conditions, mistreatment, or mishandling are often behind the incidents.

Proper care and attention to their environment will limit the risk to you and others in your home.

A boa constrictor should be treated with respect, because of the possible damage they might inflict, but keep in mind, these animals are not known for being aggressive for the sake of being aggressive.

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