It is not uncommon for children to grow unusually attached to their pets and often spend their every moment with them, it is however unusual when that pet is a 220lb, 15ft Burmese python!!
Recently a family from Dongguan has hit the headlines after reports emerged that their 13-year-old son Azhe Liu is so close to the giant snake that they even sleep in the same bed together at night. Apparently, the huge slithering creature even takes care of the boy when his parents are away!!
Six years before Azhe was born, his father Chen Liu found a snake egg and brought it home and hatched it out. The family kept the snake as a pet and by the time Azhe was born, it already weighed 20 kilos! Chen never seemed worried that the Burmese python would be a threat to his son, he said;
“I’d always thought them the most beautiful creatures and I was interested to see what would happen when my son came along…After a while we were certain the snake wouldn’t hurt him and we began to leave them together alone. They really are inseparable.”
Burmese Pythons are not poisonous to humans; they kill by constricting around their prey and suffocating it. They live on a diet of small mammals, however the larger snakes have been known to consume deer, pigs, goats and even alligators!
According to reports, Azhe and the python have been sharing the same bed since the boy was just a few months old and when he reached 9 months, the snake became his babysitter as his parents would have to leave him to go to work. They would play and cuddle all day long and in the hot summer months, the snake’s cold body would act as a natural air conditioner of sorts, helping to keep the boy comfortable.
Chen says that Azhe has never really shown an interest in playing with toys, preferring to spend his time in the company of the snake. The family swears that the Burmese python has never once hurt the boy and Azhe says that she never squeezes him too hard!! Azhe says;
“If people understood animals more they’d be kinder to each other.”
This year, Azhe had to be separated from his beloved snake as he started attending school and only sleeps at home on Saturdays. He was upset by the separation, but plans to become a zoologist when he grows up, so that he gets to spend as much time as possible with his animal friends!