S. African teen has bond with pet python

March 16, 2008 at 6:47 AM
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DURBAN, South Africa, March 16 (UPI) -- A South African teenager has no problem studying while her pet, a 10-foot-long Burmese python named Theo, slithers around her room.

"I am convinced we have a bond, so I am not concerned about any possible danger," Simone Naidoo told The Times of South Africa.

Simone, who lives in Durban with her parents, began saving for a python when she was 10 after she saw a display of snakes at her primary school. Two years ago, she finally convinced her parents that she could handle a python.

Her mother, Deepa, has become attached to Theo as well, helping her daughter rub the snake with olive oil as a skin treatment. Simone feeds the snake, who can get by on 14 rats a month.

Her father, Dave Naidoo, is still uncomfortable with pythons, and Simone is well aware not everyone shares her enthusiasm.

"At school, they call me the snake girl, and I am seen as tough because I have Theo as my pet," she said. "My friends think I'm a total freak, and as for the rest of my family, they think I'm weird, especially my grandfather."

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