How Long Do Red Tailed Boas Live In Captivity? | Boa Constrictor Lifespan


how long do red-tailed boas live? A red tailed boas lifespan depends significantly on where they live. If they reside in captivity, they often have more access to food and shelter consistently, which increases their chances of survival. In this article we are going to be discussing how long red tailed boas live in captivity.

Red-tailed boa constrictors can live up to 40 years in captivity and about 20 years in the wild. When in the wild, their lifespan is shorter because of the dangers of the jungle and the forest. Most boas in captivity will live an average of about 25-30 years. 

Red-tailed boas fare quite well in captivity because their feeding needs are met regularly, and they are kept safe from predators who may want to eat them or challenge them.

Red-tailed boas do well as pets and in zoos and national parks. Continue reading to find out more about red-tailed boas, how long they can live, and what their lives are like.

How Long Do Red Tailed Boas Live In Captivity?

You can expect your the lifespan of your boa constrictor to be around 25-30 years in captivity if well cared for. The oldest boa constrictor I have ever known was close to 40 years old.

So if you plan on purchasing a red tailed boa, expect them to be around for a while. Too many boas end up in animal rescue centers or are released into the wild because of owners you we not prepared to care for them. 

How Long Do Red Tailed Boas Live In The Wild? 

Red Tailed boas are part of the Boidae family of snakes. These boas live longer than other families of snakes due to their intimidating red markings and the ability to execute their prey. These snakes have brown markings towards their head, and the color changes into a deep red closer to the end of their tail. 

Though it is hard to predict how long boas live in the wild, an average would be around 25 years if they make if they are not snatched up by prey as babies. 

Some factors that affect the lifespan of a red-tailed boa include:

  • Health – Natural illnesses can decrease the lifespan of red-tailed boa constrictors
  • Hunting – The ability to find and catch prey
  • Defense – The ability to protect themselves from predators
  • Climate – Boas need heat to live a long and healthy life
  • Location – Depending on where the boas reside in South America will depend on their access to food, shelter, and safety, which affects their lifespan greatly

The wild is a mixing bowl of many unknown elements and unpredictable circumstances. As a result, red-tailed boas face more danger as well as a chance of starvation within their natural habitats. Captivity offers a place free of predators and environmental issues that can shorten a red-tailed boa’s lifespan.

You will often find red-tailed boas in woodlands, semi-arid forests, and tropical rain forests in the wild. They can easily adapt to new areas, which gives them higher chances of surviving when taken into captivity. When properly cared for, red-tailed boas can truly thrive and live a happy, healthy life in both the wild and captivity. 

Diet Can Affect How Long A Boa Constrictor Will Live In Captivity

  • When they are young, they must eat every 5-7 days.
  • When they are fully grown, they must eat every 7-10 days.
  • A boa should eat smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Feeding a boa in captivity pre-killed food is better for their health and safety.

Red-tailed boa constrictors can weigh around 50 pounds when they are fully grown. That is the same weight as an adolescent child! So be prepared to take care of a large snake with a lifespan that can exceed 40 years. 

Boa Constrictor Lifespan: Common Health Problems To Watch Out For 

One of the deadliest diseases that can affect red-tailed boas is IBD (Inclusion Body Disease). This is a disease that can be compared to HIV in human beings.

This deadly retrovirus can be in these families of snakes for years before showing signs that are visible to the human eye. However, there are ways that you can keep an eye on your boa to make sure that they are healthy and not showing any serious signs of illness. 

Some signs of Inclusion Body Disease in a red-tailed boa are:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive saliva 
  • Loss of control of bowel movements
  • Loss of control of urination

This disease can be spread from snake to snake by mites, which carry many diseases to both animals and humans. Therefore, it is essential to separate your snakes if you have multiple ones at home.

Other less common diseases in red-tailed boas are:

  • Blister disease – A viral disease that can occur when snakes are kept in damp and dirty shelters in captivity.
  • Scale rot disease – This bacterial disease can arise when the snake is exposed to humidity and feces without being properly treated. 
  • Respiratory infections – Infections located in the nose and throat regions can plague the boa. 
  • Pneumonia – Snakes can also develop pneumonia because of the delicate location of their windpipe, which rests on the floor of their mouth. 

Never hesitate to take your pet boa to a reptile veterinarian if you are concerned about their health. Veterinarians will hopefully be able to diagnose and treat whatever is ailing your snake so that they can heal and live a long healthy life. 

How Diseases Affect A Red-Tailed Boa’s Lifespan

Viral and bacterial diseases that go untreated can shorten the red-tailed boa’s lifespan significantly. It is important to inspect, treat, and maintain the care of these snakes promptly to keep them safe and healthy.

The following can be done to help keep your  red-tailed boa constrictor healthy:

  • Inspect – Be aware of your snake’s health by checking them often and remaining on the lookout for signs of discomfort.
  • Veterinarian – Take your snake to the vet regularly for checkups and when you notice anything abnormal in your snake’s behavior. 
  • Environment – Maintain a healthy, clean, dry environment for your red-tailed boa so that bacteria, germs, and feces do not cause infections and other diseases.

While in the wild, these snakes do not have the medicine, constant care, and attention they may need when they contract an illness. This is only one reason why their lifespan in the wild is often shorter than a snake that has been brought into captivity. 

When in captivity, your snake can be seen, treated, and properly cared for constantly, which lengthens your red-tailed boa’s lifespan. 

Red-Tailed Boas As Pets

For the most part, boas have a friendly temperament when they are handled regularly from an early age. My red-tailed boa was one of my favorite pet reptiles that I have ever had.

That said, they might not be my first pick for someone who has never owned a snake before. This is especially true if the snake is for a child. This is simply because of the potential size of a red-tailed boa.

My first pick would be a corn snake, ball python, or a rosy boa. These are some great options that are more beginner-friendly. For more on this subject check out my article: Ball Python vs Red-Tailed Boa!

That said if you have a little experience or you think you are up for the challenge of a larger-sized snake, then a red-tailed boa might be the perfect pet for you.

Are You Prepared To Care For A Boa That Can Live 40 Years? 

Red-tailed boa constrictors are beautiful, large, docile snakes that would make great pets to someone who has the time, money, and ability to house them in a large, warm space. Stretching up to 10 feet in length when fully grown, these snakes require ample space to move around. 

Because a red-tailed boa lifespan can exceed 40 years in captivity, it is vital to understand the commitment you make when you bring one of these beautiful reptiles home. These snakes can make fantastic pets because they do not require much daily care compared to other household pets. 

However, they do have very specific needs that must be met for them to live healthy and happy lives. So, remember to research, prepare, and think carefully before investing in a red-tailed boa!

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