Today's picks

    Woman shares her bedroom with a collection of snakes, including a 16ft python

    When she was 14, Zee saw a snake in a pet shop that she just had to buy so she split the cost with her brother and bought it home. Now training to be a veterinary nurse, the 21-year-old owns 16 snakes who live in her bedroom. Among her trove of reptiles, her favourites are a majestic 16-foot Burmese python, a boa constrictor, royal python, and a blood python. Though she’s been bitten countless times, she doesn’t think her beloved pets will ever act aggressively towards her.
    ‘I have been bitten almost every week,’ she said. ‘It depends on the bite and the severity of it. With a feeding bite, for example, alcohol is the best way of getting a snake off you if they’re not letting go, or putting their heads underwater. ‘If it’s a small snake, just wait. They’re going to let go of it at some point. When it’s a touch and release, I like to call them love taps, I just clean off the wound and get on with whatever I’m doing. ‘Snakes are not out to kill you; they aren’t out to get you. They do tend to be extremely nervous animals,’ she added. ‘My favourite animal would be my big girl, Scarlet, my Burmese python. She’s my absolute pride and joy. I actually struggle to pick her up by myself so it’s usually a two-man job to deal with her.’
    Zee often lets out the larger snakes onto the hallway where they can slither as they please. They’ve even managed to get into the walls and under the floorboards in the flat, resulting in a few visits from the fire brigade to help get them out again. Zee’s Burmese pythons are fed once a month on extra large rabbits, roughly three to six kilograms, while the smaller ones are fed on a diet of rodents or chicks.
    ‘They’re very, very attractive animals in my opinion. They’re sweethearts, they’re so docile that they would never bite me out of aggression,’ added Zee. ‘They would hiss at me, they would do their little belly flop, they would let me know that they want to be alone. But that’s the worse they would do and I don’t mind that at all. ‘What’s not to love? They are absolutely fascinating animals and I learn something new about them every single day.’