Small girl shares home with Cher the snake, a 16-foot python
Surrey, UK - It's not every day that you see a child and snake co-existing, let alone enjoying tea together. Yet Cher, a 16-foot python, and Emi Taoka have formed quite the special bond.
Emi Taoka and Cher the 16-foot python grew up alongside one another in the English town of Surrey, the young girl having been introduced to the creature when she was but two years old.
Cher was much smaller at the time, and Emi's dad Ed Taoka had to first be sure his daughter would be safe in the python's presence. Before he knew it, though, the two had created a unique bond - to this day, they are inseparable.
The girl with the python enjoy cups of tea together
One of their favorite things to do together is enjoy tea, yet an afternoon cuppa isn't the only adventure and activity that the girl and her snake are keen to do with one another.
While many fear that snakes will bite them, Emi's dad said in a video by The Dodo that he's never been attacked by Cher – which is more than he can say about cats!
Before he introduced Cher the snake to Emi, he taught the python about human interaction and made sure that she was well-adjusted for the safety of his young daughter.
Cher the snake wasn't the only to be trained
Cher wasn't the only one that had to learn some ground rules, either. Taoka also had to ensure his daughter knew how to respect Cher and not stress her out.
When Emi was younger, she could pick Cher up, but the snake is now too heavy, so the girl has to wait for Cher to slither up to her.
The duo love to play together, but also enjoy chilling out. Taoka said "Cher likes to chill on my daughter quite a lot. She'll just come up onto the couch and rest on my daughter through most of it. Over the years, they've grown together."
While the pair of unlikely friends may seem strange to others, Taoka is happy his daughter gets to experience the loving and gentle side of a species that so often gets looked down upon and feared.
Cover photo: Collage: Screenshots/instagram/@sonny_cher_retics