Boa babies are awesome … but maybe not for cuddling!

The brand new Jamaican boas at the Toronto Zoo are something to see. From a distance.
Jamaican boa babies Are you ready to meet some wiggly, squiggly new boa babies? (Toronto Zoo)

Our reputation as baby animal lovers is ironclad, and we don't have favourites. Reptiles! Mammals! Birds! We love them all!

Of course, we do understand that some baby animals are an easier sell than others. For example...

"Hey everyone, look at this Baby sloth!" = ?

On the other hand, "Hey everyone, look! Baby snakes!" =  ?

But the May 15 birth of five new Jamaican boa babies at the Toronto Zoo is something we're ready to celebrate. Just revealed to the public, these animals don't need to be "cute" to gain our affection ... even if we accept that it's probably a good idea to give these siblings a little space.

See what we mean?

A rare birth in Canada

Even if these boa babies have a bit of a temper, this non-venomous snake is an animal that needs our support. Also known as the Yellow snake, Jamaican boas are the top predator on the island of Jamaica. They use constriction—squeezing their prey—to hunt birds, bats, and rodents. Adults can be up to 2.3 metres (7.5 feet)—that might be only medium-sized for a boa, but it's longer than even the tallest humans are high! So these little critters are going to get big.

But their size hasn't stopped them from becoming vulnerable in their native habitat. Like so many animals, habitat loss, human-introduced species (the mongoose now hunts these snakes), and hunting has dropped their numbers drastically. That makes these five new boa babies—the first ones bred in Canada since the early 2000s—extra ssssssspecial!

Snakes, snakes everywhere!

The tentacled snake gets its name from the two short tentacles on its snout. Can you spot them on the adult in this photo? (Toronto Zoo)

Even better, the Jamaican boa isn't the only recent snake birth at the Toronto Zoo. On July 2, another five snake babies were born to a tentacled snake, an aquatic snake from Southeast Asia and Australia. Wow!

The snake nursery is going to get pretty crowded over there. Though, at least everyone will have plenty of friends to play with. Assuming that snakes know how to play nicely? Maybe the tentacled snakes can teach the boas how to swim?

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