By William Lailey and Charlotte Nisbet
A seven-year-old school girl has become best friends with two 15ft PYTHONS during lockdown.
Being isolated at home with two of the world’s longest species of snake would be some people’s worst nightmare but not for tiny Emi Taoka.
In photos taken by her dad, Ed, 40, Emi enjoys the snakes wrapping themselves around her as they enjoy the warmer weather outside.
The reticulated pythons – known as Sonny, now six, and Cher, now five, – live at home with Ed after he adopted them in a bid to pursue his passion for reptiles.
The dad-of-one, from Surrey, shares images of Emi and the snakes on his Instagram in a bid to show others that they are not always to be feared.
He says his daughter is enjoying being in lockdown with the snakes and enjoys interacting with them on a daily basis.
Ed, a massage therapist, said: “There’s a lot of negative perceptions surrounding snakes being pets.
“Reticulated pythons can be aggressive in the wild but captive bred species such as Sonny and Cher are very calm.
“I have never pressured Emi to build a relationship with the snakes but she has naturally always wanted to interact with them.
“It was a slow process to ensure the snakes did not feel threatened and thankfully we’ve never had any bites.
“The snakes are often confined to their incubated home indoors but when the weather is warm I do let them roam in the garden.
“I don’t ever leave them unattended though as I have to ensure they are warm enough.
“I’m thankful to have Emi with me during lockdown so she can help care for Sonny and Cher too.”
Ed says the pythons eat two rabbits each every two weeks which he keeps in the freezer.
He added: “They have large appetites but eat less frequently now.
“Caring for the pythons isn’t for the fainthearted as it requires a lot of care and dedication but it’s worth it.
“I love seeing how my passion has passed onto Emi too.”