For the last five years, Zhan Guobing has kept a ball python. He first bought it in 2006 in Guanyuan, a market in Xicheng district that features all sorts of pets, both commonplace and exotic.

“I have a small child at home, so I couldn’t get a very fierce snake. I decided on a snake with a relatively docile temperament,” he said.

The ball python, the smallest of the African pythons, is popular among the pet-owners market, Zhan said. The name “ball python” refers to its tendency to curl up into a ball when alone due to its timid nature.

Zhan had friends that kept snakes, even as large as the boa constrictor, which could sell for over 10,000 yuan ($1,569). He said he and his friends often gather to show off their latest acquisitions.

In recent years, keeping exotic pets has become increasingly popular in Beijing.

Originally posted by Cris Zimermann on August 21, 2013 in Biz Ops.


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