Dad Defends His Young Daughter’s Relationship With A 16-Foot Python

When many of us look back on our childhood, one of the fondest memories we have is the time we spent with our family pet. In most cases, it is a dog or a cat but there are also times when another animal may fit into that category.

That is what we see with Ed Taoka and his little girl, Emi. When she was two years old, she was introduced to Cher. At the time, that pet was somewhat small but now, Cher has grown and some people are concerned about the health and safety of the little girl.

As it turns out, Cher is a snake, but not just any snake. She is a 16-foot python and Cher and Emi are inseparable.

Taoka spoke to The Dodo in a video, where he said: “They’re just very used to each other’s company. When I introduced Emi to Cher, Emi was about 2-years-old and Cher was quite a tiny snake.”

If you want to get technical, Cher is a Lavender Motley Sunfire Tiger reticulated python. She is also 16 feet long and described by Emi and her father as being gentle and social.

Although Emi and Cher grew up together, the snake has grown at a much faster pace. When they were young, Emi would hold her in her hands but now, she would have a difficult time lifting her.

One of the things that make pets so special to us is the trust that we have for them. Taoka had to watch carefully to ensure that Cher was going to be a good pet for his little girl. He also taught them respect for each other, which is something she will carry with her through life.

“I spent every day, multiple times a day, with Cher, just getting her used to human interaction. On the other front, I needed to make sure my daughter genuinely knew how to be gentle. As soon as she understood what she need to do, no grabbing no poking, just being gentle and respectful that’s all I needed form her, was to behave how I behave. And she proved that to me.”

There are certain limitations, including Emi not being allowed to feed the snake until she’s 16 years old. She also has to live with the other snake in the house, a reticulated python named Sonny.

They enjoy spending time with each other, taking a nap or watching TV. As you can imagine, there are plenty of people who have a negative opinion on the subject but Taoka takes it all in stride.

He is doing his best to ensure that his daughter is safe and that she has the respect necessary for such interaction with Cher.

“No one gets to see the good nature of these animals and what they’re really like when they’re not being stressed out,” Taoka told The Dodo. “As soon as a large constrictor is shown with anything, it’s always a bad negative perception. The snakes haven’t bitten us, the cats have bitten us and scratched us. Cher is probably the most gentle snake I’ve ever owned.”

“She gets to experience the true giants of the species and she has a very rare and unique relationship with them.”

Source: The DODO