14/08/2014 16:49 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Boy, 16, Has 300 Exotic Pets Includes Tarantulas, Scorpions And Snakes

Teen's 300 exotic pets includes tarantulas, scorpions and snakes

While most kids are happy with a hamster, a kitten or a puppy, animal-mad schoolboy Liam Andrews prefers something a little more exotic.

In fact, the 16-year-old shares his home with 300, er, unusual pets - including 12 tarantulas, eight snakes and five deadly scorpions.

He also owns an array of lizards, frogs and birds which all cram into his family's modest three-bedroom semi-detached home in Desborough, Northamptonshire.

Liam loves his pets so much he watches TV with his snakes – including a 6ft-long python. He spends two hours a day feeding his pets and reckons he has been bitten or stung by them at least 200 times.

The college student is allowed to keep the incredible haul of animals by his long-suffering parents, despite his dad suffering from a phobia of snakes – while his mum has a fear of spiders.

Liam said: "I much prefer animals to humans – if someone is worried about the health and safety of a person holding a snake, I am much more worried about the snake's welfare.

"I have around 60 reptiles and other exotics that sleep in my bedroom with me – luckily so far none of them have escaped.

"I don't think many girls would like the spiders in my bedroom so I don't bring many girls home."

Liam's obsession with animals began when he saved up enough pocket money to buy a hamster when he was just six years old.

Since then he and his parents have splashed out £8,500 on his staggering hoard of pets which he buys online at rescue centres and exotic pet shops. He has a total of 306 animals ranging from the smallest baby golden knee tarantula measuring just 3mm to the largest exotic corn snake at 6ft 3ins long.

Liam – who is studying animal management and welfare at Moulton College in Northampton – added: "I spent four years trying to convince mum to get me a snake and, one year on, I had six snakes, ten spiders, and 200 other animals.

"I always watch TV with a snake around my neck, but I have given our local shopkeeper a real fright by turning up with my python.

"The next time I went into the shop, there were two signs on the shop door, one saying 'no dogs' and one saying 'no reptiles'."

His mum Jayne, 45, added: "Liam is totally obsessed with all his animals. I hate spiders and would never hold one, yet he wakes me up to bring me the shed skin of a tarantula at midnight.

"Last week, I found a cricket hopping about in the shower cubicle when I went to take a shower – I'm dreading what I might find next."