Boa constrictors are solitary snakes that live in South America, though they are invasive in other regions including southern Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their habitat is varied, but they tend to favor tropical rainforests. They are often found near water and are very good at swimming.
While they have a painful bite, boa constrictors are not venomous. They are “ambush predators”, meaning they lie very still waiting for a prey animal to come close, and then strike. Once the prey is grabbed with the snake’s teeth, it begins to coil itself around its prey, which restricts blood flow to the brain. The snake then swallows the animal whole. This method of feeding is where the name “constrictor” comes from. Its preferred prey animals are usually mammals like rodents, monkeys, and wild pigs, as well as birds.