John Roberston/Barcroft Media
If your children are pestering you for a pet, keep them away from this story.
The Rice family - mum, Kim, 45, dad, Pete, 49, and 16-year-old Chloe - share their three bedroom family home in Cambridgeshire with a 17-foot long albino pet python called Lilly.
Lilly is the longest pet in the UK, and when lined up against the family's ford focus, is bigger than the car by more than a nose.
"Lilly has a wonderful personality,'" says Kim. "She is very placid and is so laid back that children love her. Lilly is much less trouble to keep than my two dogs to be honest. We can let her wander around the garden, particularly on the grass on a hot day, which she loves.
"But we do need to make sure she is watched at all times. She would give someone the fright of their lives!"
The family has been keeping snakes for 15 years, and Kim has recently decided to open a snake shop so others can enjoy snake keeping.
Lilly arrived at the family home as a baby, but her size has increased so much that Kim, Pete and Chloe have built a ten foot-long, six-foot wide heated tank for her to sleep in.
Teenager Chloe is so snake obsessed that since finishing her GCSEs at school, she has enrolled in Milton Animal College to study reptile keeping, and one day even hopes to be the head keeper at a large zoo.
"Lilly is a great pet because she is so different from the dogs and cats my friends have," says Chloe. "Lilly is also fun to play around with and is very gentle as well. One day I hope I can care for more giant animals like her."
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