Ball pythons are treated with great care when they happen to wander into a Nigerian village
Python regius is a nonvenomous python species found in Africa. This is the smallest of the African pythons and is popular in the pet trade, largely due to its typically docile temperament. No subspecies are currently recognized. It is also known as royal python or ball python. The name “ball python” refers to the animal’s tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened.The name “royal python” (from the Latin regius) is based in part on the story that Cleopatra supposedly wore the snake around her wrist.
Beliefs and folklore
This species is particularly revered in the traditional religion of the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria. It is considered symbolic of the earth, being an animal that travels so close to the ground. Even among many Christian Igbos, these pythons are treated with great care whenever they happen to wander into a village or onto someone’s property; they are allowed to roam freely or are very gently picked up and placed out in a forest or field away from any homes. If one is accidentally killed, many communities in Igboland will still build a coffin for the snake’s remains and give it a short funeral