python playscape

As we evolve our ball python (python regius) enclosures we started discussing what types of enrichment we can offer. We use repti-chip as a substrate with a variety of hot and cold hides, as well as cork bark panels and artificial plants to vary the textures. We noted how many of our snakes enjoyed propping themselves up on their hides and cork bark. This got us thinking, what if we built a framework of wood dowels to provide an interesting obstacle for our pythons to climb on and through?


The consumables for the project were:

  • Zilla hide as the base, 3/4″ x 48″
  • wooden dowels
  • zip ties

The tools needed included:

  • saw
  • power drill
  • sandpaper
  • razor (for trimming zip ties)
  • lighter (for smoothing over zip tie sharp edges)

first python playscape design


We started with our parts:

Using our saw, we cut up some random lengths of dowels to start building out our base playscape frame:

We drilled holes through the dowels to allow us to zip tie the dowels together. I didn’t want to use screws or nails that could potentially expose sharp edges, so I decided on this method, along with using a razor to make a clean cut on the excess plastic and a lighter to melt down any remaining sharp edges:

We tried our best to tuck the knubs behind the dowels:

We ended up with an interlocking array of dowels in an attempt to stabilize the python playscape:

This is an overhead view of the first one we built:


Here’s a shot of the playscape installed in Eep’s enclosure (het piebald het VPI axanthic ball python – python regius) – she’s our largest snake, a 2019 ball python that is about 1100 grams.

Meanwhile Eep was keeping an eye on us, and her new playscape:

nosy neighbor

Banana was keeping an eye on us while we were setting up Eep’s enclosure. Banana is a sweet girl and she’s up next. Here’s her current enclosure, which is a bit barren. We’ll spice it up soon!

second python playscape design

Banana didn’t have to wait long. We started putting together a second model soon after the first. We didn’t follow any designs, we assembled on the fly based on what we thought each snake might prefer.



banana on the python playscape

Banana (banana piebald ball python – python regius) was annoyed that we were messing with her enclosure. She balled up and popped the top of her hide up so we moved her out in the open for a spell:

Later that night: