Jansenii / Oxycephalum
by Freight Freitas
If at all possible it will be in your best interest to acquire either captive bred or captive hatched snakes. While prices tend to be considerably higher for c/b or c/h Gonyosoma, the money, time, and stress you will save yourself in the long run is well worth it. Wild caught Gonyosoma can be extremely difficult to keep in a healthy state, and many perish within a short time after purchase. I have personally rehabilitated a number of w/c Gonyosoma, and with many it has been no small task to stabilize, assess, and treat these sick, and often emaciated individuals that are stressed to the max from their experience in the pet trade. Even when acquiring what outwardly appears to be a relatively healthy w/c individual, one cannot fully appreciate the myriad of issues that could potentially be lying just beneath the surface until you’ve worked with as many as I have. Without at least some general knowledge of reptile medical treatment, and a qualified vet that is willing to share his/her medical knowledge and teach you the procedures necessary for treatment, your newly acquired snakes may be doomed from the start. It is necessary to have access to the medications detailed in the medical section, and to have a vet that trusts you to do much of the treatment yourself. The medical treatments I’ve listed should be considered mandatory for w/c snakes, and will provide you the greatest possible degree of success. It should also be noted that these snakes can be highly violent and easily agitated, and stress can play a very critical role in captive success. Their cantankerous nature can also make it difficult to perform medical treatments, and it is most advisable to have assistance when working on these snakes, so as to avoid injury to both the snake and yourself. Please refer to the initial treatment for w/c snakes section below for detailed information on the treatment of w/c Gonyosoma.
In contrast to the high potential for health issues with w/c Gonyosoma, c/b and c/h individuals thrive in captivity provided their captive care requirements are met. It is necessary to acquire snakes from a reputable source, which in the U.S. can be quite a daunting task unto itself. Captive raised Gonyosoma tend to have better temperaments and appear to be much more adaptable to captive conditions. When provided a secure and well furnished home, along with excellent care, they can even be docile and handleable. They also tend to be much easier to feed, where w/c snakes can be extremely difficult to keep on a regular feeding regimen. The overall experience of keeping Gonyosoma is a much more pleasurable one when working with captive raised individuals.