A video of a girl and her snake is making rounds on the internet. The clip showed the girl lounging on the couch -- apparently watching television -- with the snake wrapped around her leg. At one point in the video, the snake appears to yawn, and the young girl seems perfectly content.
The animal in the video is a reticulated python, a species usually found in Southeast Asian nations like Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
The animals are not venomous. Instead, they kill their prey by grabbing it with their teeth, then wrapping their bodies around it, constricting until it dies.
The video, originally uploaded on Facebook by Ed Taoka, who claims to be the girl’s father, has since been restricted.
Taoka, who said the snake’s name is Cher, said that the reptile, which is 12 feet long, has never bitten members of the family.
“My daughter is perfectly safe. Interaction with any animal and child must always be supervised. No, it is not sizing her up. That is a stupid myth. Neither snakes have any desire to bite or eat us,” he wrote on Facebook, according to WDIV. “Do you know what this snake loves to eat? Rats. She loves rats. Won't eat anything else. For the love of God, I have tried rabbit but she is a really fussy madam. She just eats defrosted rats.”
He continued: “These are tame (by dictionary definition), captive bred, pet snakes. They have been handled nearly everyday - multiple times a day since they were babies. There are more dangerous issues with other animals such as dogs and horses to children than non-venomous snakes. Snakes, like other animals are also allowed to ‘yawn.’”
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