See family who share their home with 81 exotic animals

A family of eight share their home with 81 exotic animals including pythons, tarantulas, meerkats and an albino skunk.

Scott Gavin, 35, has built five outdoor enclosures for his animals while three Burmese pythons share a room with son Robert, 12.

The dad-of-six insists it is “totally safe” to let the snakes – up to 12ft long – slither around the backyard as his young ­children Chloe, 11, Ellie-Mai, eight, Emily, three, and 21-month-old Megan play.

Scott, married to Leanne, said his love for animals has been passed on to the kids – especially autistic Robert, 12, who finds comfort in pet skunk, Rosie.

His barn owl, meerkats, hedgehogs, Burmese pythons, giant cockroaches and others are registered for therapy visits to elderly homes.

Scott, also dad to Jake, said:

My youngest Megan, who has Down’s syndrome, loves the snakes but she is too heavy handed. If it is a sunny day, I allow the snakes to roam free in the garden and bask in the paddling pool whilst the children play. But I’d never leave them unattended as they could constrict any of them at any time. We have got cute fluffy guinea pigs, rabbits, meerkats, ducks and reptiles including geckos, lizards and snakes.

Robert and Rosie the skunk are inseparable.

We have 14 snakes including pythons, corn snakes, a false water cobra, Baron’s racer and western hognose – they are harmless. The pythons could constrict you at any moment but I look after them and I don’t think it would happen.

The family live in a five-bedroom house in Kirkby, Merseyside, with the animals – which cost £400 a month to care for.

Scott, who runs Party Central Entertainments, said the animals become a good talking point for the elderly, and at prisons where they are used as a way to bring fathers and sons together on visits.

He said: 

There’s many perks to the job such as seeing people’s face light up when they are a few feet away from a racoon or realise a skunk doesn’t actually smell.
But I will never forget the moment an autistic boy broke his five year silence when communicating with me about one of the skunks - his mum was so happy.
It is also fascinating to see the elderly with the animals and hear stories from back in their day.

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