The Slender Tree Boa is considered as one of my favorites snake. The reason why: it helped me overcome my fear for snakes.
The Slender Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus) is also known as the Amazon Tree Boa. It is a medium sized slender arboreal snake. Non venomous and is active during the night. Before I met the Slender Tree Boa I first thought that all snakes were considered venomous and dangerous. That they will attack you without any warning.
Luckily it all came to an end when a film crew came to Kabalebo for a documentation. For one of their shoots they caught a juvenile Slender Tree Boa. Afraid and also curious I stayed close at a safe distance. When I asked if I could take a picture of the snake, they gave me the snake…. in my bare hands. I was of course a bit scared as it was the first time I held a snake, without assistance, in my hands. Somehow my fear melted away and gave room to curiosity.
My close encounter with the Slender Tree Boa didn't end there. During the years I met various kind of these boa's. They had different colors: purple, orange and brown. But all were the same: harmless and fascinating. They are widespread in the Amazon Basin and since we are situated in the midst of the jungle of Kabalebo we meet this resident on many occasions.
Since they are arboreal snakes, you can find them in trees or on branches. This one was resting along the river of Kabalebo. They are active during nighttime, their eyes will reflect orange whenever you shine with your flashlight in the trees.
They prey upon lizards, rodents, small birds and bats.
It is said that the Slender Tree boa likes to bite repeatedly. So they say! Countless times I had these boa's in my hands and only once it had bitten me …. it actually felt like a weak slap on the hand.
We found this one at one of the staff's houses. Some bats were staying between the roof and the ceiling. The Slender Tree Boa took care of the bat problem. Here is where I said 'thank you' to him and then let him go.