Animal-mad schoolboy Liam Andrews is a really wild child – sharing his bedroom with over 300 EXOTIC PETS.
The 16-year-old sleeps next to a hair-raising collection of creepie-crawlies 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, Northants.
Liam loves his pets so much he watches TV with his snakes – including a 6ft-long python – wrapped round his neck, and even takes them down the shops.
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 creatures by his long-suffering parents despite his dad suffering from a phobia of snakes – while his mum has a fear of spiders.
Liam, who admits he has never had a girlfriend, 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, 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 for me to get 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.’
“I think the worst bite I got was from a small galliwasp lizard which latched on to my hand through a glove
“Most of the bites and stings aren’t that bad, you just have to know how to handle the animals.”
Long-suffering 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.”
And dad Nigel, 52, revealed he had the shock of his life recently when he found two king snakes mating in the downstairs toilet.
He said: “Liam was looking for somewhere warm for the snakes to mate and Jane had just put the radiator on in the downstairs loo, so he put them in there.
“I was scared stiff when I went to the toilet, sat down and had two snakes looking up at me.
“But Liam loves his animals and despite our reservations, me and his mum support him all the way.”
• 12 Tarantulas
• 2 King snakes
• 2 Corn snakes
• 2 Hognose snakes
• 1 Milk snake
• 1 Royal python
• 8 Green anoles (small lizards)
• 5 Scorpions
• 30 Giant African land snails
• 2 Leopard Geckos
• 2 Pictus Geckos
• Stick insects
• Leaf insects
• Tropical frogs
• Tomato frog
• Whites tree frog
• Zebra finches
• Bengales finches
• Golden orfes
• 100 tropical fish
• Three pet dogs