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Ball Python Deep Dive Project

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Welcome to our go fund me for the ball python deep dive project, this is an ambitious project that to my knowledge has never been done before.

Watch the video explanation here:

This is an episodic docuseries. This is science woven into a story, a journey of discovery, all centered around ball pythons. We want to include all the relevant studies on ball pythons to date, and weave it into the story.

But this isn't JUST a documentary, we are doing real science.

As part of the project we are partnering with Lori Torrini to create an international study on ball python enclosure use, using something called the Spread of Participation Index (SPI), this will give us an index of how equally the ball pythons are using their enclosures AND what resources they most value. This has not been done on ball pythons before.

We will also be documenting the journey story of an individual ball python and her change from rack life to vivarium life. We will be working with veterinary assistance to see what happens to her body throughout her journey. How will her muscle density change? Her body condition? Her Blood parameters?

The docuseries will set the viewer up with a full understanding of animal welfare science before the rest of the series delves into discovery.

We want to take you on a journey of the history of ball pythons, the story of the original expedition that discovered the species and where the original collected animals are still kept today. Their evolutionary history and what makes them what they are.

The history of them in zoos, coming into herpetoculture, the boom of morphs and the rise of racks.

We want to show you ball pythons under the lens with camera footage of how ball pythons act in 23ft enclosures and floor to ceiling vivariums.

And finally we want to analyze all the footage and interpretations from other wild videos, extract the data from studies and then we want to go to Africa and try to fill in the blanks.

We want to go to Ghana with a team of professionals and film ball pythons during the wet season. We want to collect microclimate data, power density readings, uvi readings, surface temps, humidity readings. Let's not just go to anthropogenically altered habitats, let's go to the forest. Lets see what we find, will there be so much flooding that ball pythons are forced to climb or refuge, or are they just moving in their environment? Either way we will show what we find.


This is something of an order of magnitude that has never been done before. We want to set a new bar for reptile content. So if you could help in any way that would be amazing!

Speculative Episodic Structure:

Episode 0.5: What Is Animal Welfare Science?

The history of welfare science.
What welfare science is.
Modern welfare science and the moving away from avoidance of negative and look towards positive welfare.

Episode 1: What is a Ball Python?

Morphology
Evolutionary History
Taxonomy
Genetics

Episode 2: Ball Pythons in the Wild, Everything We Know So Far.

Bring together all the wild studies on ball pythons.
Analyse all the footage of wild ball pythons and their interpretations and compare against all the available literature.
Ethology
Microclimate data
Basking data

Episode 3: The History of Ball Pythons in the pet trade.

1800s references etc in zoos.
Them coming into private herpetoculture.
The boom of morphs.
Rise of racks.

Episode 4: The Welfare Implications for Captivity.

Lighting
Diet
Body condition
Enclosure size
Enclosure design
Ball python fasting
Diseases and quarantine
Blood work before and after UVB light on Morowa (Recently purchased regius).
X-rays of Morowa.

Episode 5: Locomotion Under the Lens.
Timelapse data and ethograms of ball pythons in enclosures.
Spi study.
Norwich reptile shed.

Keep in mind that all of this is subject to change. Changes due to budget constraints or we go down some study rabbit holes that take things in new directions after I finish reading all the literature. This may mean a more episodes than listed.


A documentary of this scale is the type of thing many keepers dream of and now we are at the precipice of making it a reality. We believe that this will be referenced as a resource for years to come, by pet store owners, pet keepers and breeders alike.

Breakdown of Costs:

Filming Equipment
Panasonic HC-X2 £2800
Sennheiser MKH-416 £800
21 Tapo TC60 Cameras £525

Spread of Participation Index Study
Shipping to participants £1000
Miscellaneous furnishings £500

Ghana Trip £10,000

We would be based in Accra and focus on the ball pythons in Ghana.

Trip estimation as per expedition organiser for the team we want to take, accommodation and safety.


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Donations 

  • Tristan Robson
    • £30 
    • 1 mo
  • alaina coffee
    • £100 
    • 2 mos
  • Ayana Evans
    • £5 
    • 5 mos
  • Ayana Evans
    • £5 
    • 7 mos
  • Michelle Holm
    • £100 
    • 9 mos
Donate

Fundraising team (8)

Liam Sinclair
Organizer
Lori Torrini
Team member
DILLON PERRON
Team member
Ashley Norman
Team member
Caila Mailloux
Team member

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