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The Unlikely Friendship Between A Young Girl And Her Two Pet Pythons Has Captivated The World Of Social Media

   







Seven-year-old Emi went against the norm when it came to her pet selection. Instead of a cat or dog, this little girl’s father brought home two 15-foot reticulated pythons, Sonny and Cher.

Instead of being terrified, Emi’s been caught on camera cuddling with the two snakes, showing that they are nothing more than part of the family.

Ed Taoka Brought Home Two Interesting Pets





Thirty-Nine-year-old Ed Taoka is a massage therapist who works out of Surrey in South East England. Ed isn’t a normal working man, though. He and his seven-year-old daughter Emi have two reptiles in their house that might have people doing a double-take.

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
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Living with them is two Surrey 15-foot reticulated pythons, six-year-old Sonny and five-year-old Cher.

SAUDI-ENVIRONMENT-ANIMAL-SNAKES
FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

Reticulated pythons are a species of python native to Southeast Asia. Known for being the largest snake in the world, the reticulated python is a world-class swimmer, extremely strong, and non-venomous.

It might be the last characteristic that has Ed comfortable bringing the snakes into his home and having his young daughter casually be around them.

Emi Has No Fear

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Even though this species is not venomous, they are very strong and are known to constrict their prey. It doesn't seem to phase Emi or Ed. The young girl is often seen on social media hugging her pet pythons and hanging out with them around the house.

Emi has no fear when it comes to Sonny and Cher!

No Unsupervised Playtime

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

While Emi has no fear when it comes to Sonny and Cher, Ed still takes percussions. He does not allow his daughter near the snakes unless he is present and in the room with her.

That being said, Ed has also gone on record saying the reticulated pythons are way nicer than people think.

Their Relationship Is Very Strong

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

According to Ed, Emi's relationship with the snakes started when she was very young and has only grown over time. During an interview, Ed said, "The first time my daughter decided she wanted to touch the snakes, she was about a year-and-a-half old."

He continued, "The relationship between my daughter and the snakes has gotten stronger over time."

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Emi isn't the only one in the family with an interest in the large reptiles, though. Ed became interested in snakes during his youth and has said that they helped him overcome social anxiety.

During an interview, he said, "What I've been most surprised about is how calm they make me feel when I’m holding them."

Ed Takes No Chances With His Daughter

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Ed treats the two 15-foot pythons like any other pet or animal, especially when it comes to it being around his daughter. According to Ed, any animal has the potential to bite, and he doesn't take any chances when it comes to Emi.

Even though he trusts Sonny and Cher, accidents do happen.

"All Animals Can Bite"

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

During an interview, Ed explained his stance on bringing animals into the house. He said, "When you invite any pet or animal into your house, you have to expect to be bitten – all animals can bite."

"But I would never leave my daughter alone with any animal." Emi doesn't seem to mind, though, as long as she can hang out with Sonny and Cher!

Emi Became Interested In Snakes At One Year Old

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Emi was very small when she first began interacting with Sonny and Cher. She was only a little over one year old! But that didn't stop her from becoming interested in the two snakes.

When Emi became interested in the pythons, Ed made sure she knew that the key to trust was being gentle.

It's All About Being Gentle

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
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At a little over a year, the concept of being gentle might be a foreign concept for most. According to Ed, his daughter soon realized she had to be calm around the two snakes and not erratic.

After she understood being gentle, Ed was more comfortable with Emi petting Sonny and Cher.

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Sonny and Cher might be constrictor snakes, but he believes they are safer to be around than some children's toys. During an interview, Ed said, "'I think supervised interactions with constrictors are relatively safe. They are safer than trampolines and bouncy castles."

It probably helps that both Sonny and Cher are pretty docile creatures.

Sonny And Cher Are Docile Creatures

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
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According to Ed, Sonny and Cher are not aggressive. In fact, they are both pretty mellow with "gentle and docile" personalities. Like any animal, though, the two massive pythons get triggered by one thing: food.

Getting fed once every two weeks, it isn't too difficult to see why they get a look in their eye when they smell food.

It's All About The Food

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

While the two snakes are typically friendly and willing to hang out with Emi, Ed says they turn into different creatures when food is involved. During an interview, Ed said, "As soon as they get the smell of food – that's what sets them off. You can see it in their eyes."

Even so, Ed says it's nothing to be afraid of.

Ed Wants To Educate Other People

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

The wild and animalistic nature people tend to associate with pythons made Ed think about sharing his life with others, especially once it became clear Emi loved the family pets.

Hopping on social media, Ed wanted to show people that pythons are not terrifying creatures and can be calm and caring.

People Became Very Interested

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

It didn't take long for people to get invested in his pictures and videos, many of which show Emi lounging about with two 15-foot pythons draped around or near her.

During an interview, Ed discussed the interactions and social media posts, explaining how he wanted nothing more than to change people's perspectives of snakes.

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

According to Ed, the two huge snakes amaze him every day, especially with their gentle and docile nature and relationship with Emi.

During an interview, he said, "I enjoy filming the gentle interactions between my daughter and the snakes – it just amazes me on a daily basis how they behave."

Domestic Living Has A Lot To Do With It

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Living amongst two of the world's strongest creatures, Ed has learned that pythons housed in a domestic environment really pose no threat to those around them.

Posting to social media, his hope is to educate people and to detract them from the stereotypes surrounding large reptiles just because they look scary and dangerous.

Trying To Change The Stereotype

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

During an interview, Ed explained how changing people's minds is a difficult task when a young child is involved. He said, "As soon as you say a large constrictor and a child, everyone thinks the worst – that's what I’m trying to change."

Showing Emi playing with her toys while a 15-foot python slithers across the ground is his way of showing how they all live in harmony.

It Started With Educating His Daughter

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

One of the biggest worries people have after seeing Ed's photographs is simple -- do Sonny and Cher pose a threat to Emi? The short answer is no. Ed has educated Emi on how to properly interact with the two 15-foot pythons to ensure her safety at all times.

It also helps that they are very friendly snakes.

If She Doesn't Pose A Threat, Everything Is Fine

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

The biggest thing for Ed is teaching his daughter how to properly interact with Sonny and Cher, so they do not see her as any sort of threat. During an interview, he said, "If they understand she's not food or a threat, they won’t bite her."

Since Emi sees the two snakes as pets, she is nothing but loving towards them!

Sonny And Cher Can Live To Be 20 Or 30 Years Old

7-Year-Old's Bestie Is A 15ft Python
Anna Sass/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Continuing, Ed said, "As long as you don't frighten or hurt them, they are very gentle and docile animals. They are actually nicer than most humans I've encountered."

Sonny and Cher's species live to be around 20 to 30 years old! This means Ed and Emi have quite some time to further educate people on pythons and how they are not snakes to be feared.

A Homeless Man Walked Into A Barbershop For One Thing And Left Looking Unrecognizable

After living on the streets of Goiânia, Brazil, for about three years, 43-year-old João Coelho Guimarães knew it was time for a change. Walking into Padoo, a small local barbershop, João didn't know what to expect.

All he wanted was one thing -- to trim his overgrown beard. What he wound up getting from the staff changed his life.

João Coelho Guimarães

João Coelho Guimarães was 43-years-old and had been homeless on the streets of Goiânia, Brazil, for three years. During that time, his hair became overgrown, and his beard knotted and mangled.

He knew if he was going to turn his life around, he needed a change, a big one at that.

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