Every kid is different and has their own unique tastes. For instance, while most kids may prefer puppies and kittens, others may feel more comfortable with something a little less “warm-blooded” — such as a snake, for example. This seems to be the case for a little girl named Emi, who loves hosting tea parties with her best friend Cher, a 15-foot yellow python. The toddler’s unlikely friendship with this enormous reptile is a great cause for concern for many on social media who thinks that her dad, Ed Taoka, must be nuts for letting his daughter anywhere near such a creature.
For thousands of years, snakes have often been demonized by humans, and while there are snakes who behave very aggressively, the truth is most of the time, they would rather slither away than confront a big scary human. Nevertheless, when most people see a snake, their blood automatically freezes, and fear tends to take over. But, Ed decided that he would raise his daughter not to fear his giant snakes (the other being a green and white spotted python named Sonny) but rather respect them. Like most folks who handle snakes, he says that respect and understanding of their behaviors is the main thing that protects them from getting bitten.
The bond forged between little Emi and Cher took years to develop, starting when Cher was small enough to fit in her hand.
And while most kids would be horrified at even the thought of a giant snake slithering all over them, Emi isn’t a bit bothered by it; in fact, it makes her giggle with delight.
According to Ed, all the interactions between Cher and Emi are very safe because the dad never allows them to play unsupervised.
Often, Cher can be found cuddling with the little girl or wrapped around her as she watches TV or plays on the laptop.
It seems that being near Emi is one of Cher’s favorite things in the world.
Ed explained during an interview with the Animal Channel how Emi was put through extensive training before interacting with Cher.
And once again, while Cher and Emi are close friends, Ed still doesn’t allow them to play alone together. The reason is mainly because of Cher’s carnivorous nature; like any snake, her animal instincts can kick in at any time.
This is why he keeps a watchful eye on their interactions. Also, Emi isn’t allowed to feed Cher until she’s a few years older.
Ed is hoping that this charming friendship can help remove some of the negative stigmas surrounding such snakes. He notes that Cher is actually a very gentle animal that’s considerably less aggressive than his pet cats.
You can watch Emi and Cher’s adorable story below.