A two-year-old girl loves to hug and play with a huge 15-foot Burmese python and her parents are all too happy to let her to do so.
Burmese pythons squeeze their prey to death before swallowing them whole and are known to hunt animals as large as pigs, deer and even alligators.
Yet, Rob Cowan and his fiancée Stacey see such a powerful predator as no danger to their young daughter Alisha-Mae. In fact, the couple have 19 snakes, of which the 15-foot python, named Austin, is the largest. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Alisha-Mae Cowan snuggles up to Austin, who is her favorite of her family’s 19 pet snakes.
Rob Cowan, 35, claims that the eight-year-old python, who weighs 182 lbs, is a “gentle giant” who enjoys lounging around in the back garden. He said:
People can’t believe how friendly and docile he is. He really is one of the family.
Every night when Alisha-Mae and her [ten-month-old] brother Cameron go to bed, we first go into the snake room to say good night to all the snakes and Austin last of all as he is their favorite.
2. Rob Cowan, 35, said the eight-year-old reptile — who at 182 lbs weighs more than he does — is a “gentle giant”.
3. While most of the family’s snakes eat mice or rats, Austin and a 14-foot female anaconda need a little more to fill them up and are fed rabbits and guinea pigs.
Most of the Cowans’ snakes are fed mice or rats, however Austin and a 14-foot female anaconda need something bigger to get by and snack on rabbits and guinea pigs.
Cowan claims that snakes are great pets. He elaborates:
It’s careless owners that give them a bad reputation.
Most of the snakes in the pet trade have lovely temperaments and are great to hold, but if you have an owner who never gets them out of their cage then the snake will not get used to being handled.
4. Two-year-old Alisha-Mae loves to have a cuddle with the 15-foot Burmese python called Austin.
5. Burmese pythons, which squeeze their prey to death before eating them whole, have been observed in the wild swallowing pigs, deer and even alligators.
Cowan claims that bites are rare and adds:
All animals can bite — hamsters are renowned for biting.
Klare Kennett, an expert with the RSPCA, cautions that snake owners should be “extremely careful [having snakes] around children”. She said:
We would certainly not advise leaving children unsupervised with a large Burmese python. Large snakes can kill small children.
6. A 14-month-old baby is playing with a 13-foot python (related; story here).
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