Lily,17ft- long albino python, kept in Cloe’s house.UK’s longest pet
Most families admit they could do with a bit more space around the house.
But spare a thought for the Rice family who share their home with a 17-foot-long albino python. Lilly, who lives with her owners in a three bedroom detached house in Guyhirn, Cambridgeshire, has been measured, held and even lined up against the family’s ford focus – which she is bigger than by more than a nose.
Owners Pete, 49, Kim, 45, and 16-year-old daughter Chloe proudly show off their huge pet beast who lives both in their home and outdoors. ‘Lilly has a wonderful personality,’ said Kim.
‘She is very placid and is so laid back that children love her. Lilly is much less trouble to keep than my two dogs to be honest. We can let her wonder around the garden, particularly on the grass on a hot day, which she loves.
‘But we do need to make sure she is watched at all times. If she wondered off she would give someone the fright of their lives.’ The Rice family have been keeping snakes for the last 25 years, after Pete bought his first one. Since then they have fallen in love with snakes so much that Kim has recently decided to open a snake shop so others can enjoy snake keeping.
When they first bought Lilly as a baby, little did they know that she could possibly grow into Britain’s biggest pet. Since Lilly’s growth has increased to epic proportions the family have had to build a ten-foot-long and six-foot wide heated tank for Lilly to sleep inside.
‘We bought Lilly when she was a baby,’ said Kim. ‘She is seven years-old now which means she is still growing. We think one day she will reach about 20-foot-long. ‘She eats about one rabbit every three weeks and does spend a lot of time sleeping. ‘Chloe and Lilly are best friends and they have been since Chloe was nine – they’ve grown up together.’
Teenage Chloe is so snake obsessed that since finishing her GCSE’s at school she has enrolled in the Milton Animal College to study reptile keeping. One day she hopes to be the head keeper at a large zoo. ‘Lilly is a great pet because she is so different from the dogs and cats my friends have,” said Chloe.
‘Lilly is also fun to play around with and is very gentle as well. One day I hope I can care for more giant animals like her.’
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