'World's Biggest' Burmese Python Lives In A Three Bed Semi
A dad who bought an eight inch snake has seen it grow into the 'world's biggest' Burmese python.
Marcus Hobbs, 31, still keeps his snake Hexxie, which is over 18ft long, in his three bed semi. He bought it from a pet shop eight years ago and it now weighs 110kg (17 stone).
He feeds his snake rabbits, stillborn deer, calves, goats and pigs supplied by local farmers - and it's still growing.
The animal is expensive to keep and could be lethal if mishandled - squeezing a human to death in minutes and swallowing them whole.
But IT worker Marcus is confident that Hexxie won't hurt him, although he's careful not to handle her when his sons, aged four and one, are nearby.
The reptile eats and produces a chalky poo once a month - large enough to fill a bin bag. Nice.
Experts say the biggest ever Burmese python was 18' 8'', but Marcus thinks Hexxie is even bigger. He says when he last measured his pet of eight years she was over 18ft - and has grown a lot since then.
But he's reluctant to anaesthetise her for the official measurement until she's stopped growing.
Marcus, of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, said: "I knew she would be big but she has shocked everybody by how much she has grown.
"I am very passionate about snakes and I try to help people understand them. I think people are so scared of them because they think they are going to kill them, but if people come around I can talk to them all day long about snakes to reassure them.
He added: "I'm friendly with a reptile specialist, and when I first got in contact with him to try and get some piglets for food he said: 'What have you got?'
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"When I sent him a picture he said she was the biggest Burmese python he had ever seen, and he's seen them in the wild. He said: 'You have got to measure her for the world record'. I measured her and she wasn't quite there yet but she's grown a lot since then.
"She could be there now. There is a possibility she's already a record breaker, but finding out is not that easy."
So he's not that sure she's the biggest in the whole world ever, but it's probably safe to say not many others live in semi-detached houses.
Although she's never actually attacked him, she almost went for him once when he was applying iodine to her skin.
He explains Hexxie would let out a loud hissing noise followed by a foul smell as a warning to leave well alone if she was stressed or unhappy.
He added: "I would not let it get to that stage."
Marcus had his first snake for his 13th birthday and believes it's down to watching Steve Irwin on the television. Hexxie lives alongside another smaller snake, Monty, and the family dog Shiloh, a Husky.
He said: "When I was living on my own, years ago before I had children, if there was a power cut, I would put them in the bed with me to keep them warm.
"I would wake up in the morning and they would still be there."
Marcus met partner Amy, 31, at work and she has accepted his love of reptiles.
She said: "I'm more your fluffy, cute, type of animal person."
Now she understands Marcus' emotional attachment to his slithering pets her main issue is how much household space they take up.
"When we had our first it wasn't too bad because we had a three-bedroomed [house], but when the second one came along we needed that third bedroom."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS