Marcus Hobbs posted a Facebook request requesting farmers to give unwanted rabbits as food for Hexxie, who also consumes stillborn deer, calves, goats, and pigs. A father who purchased an eight-inch snake as a pet has seen it grow into the world’s largest Burmese python, reaching more than 18 feet. Marcus Hobbs, 31, still keeps Hexxie in his three-bedroom semi-detached house in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, despite the fact that she can crush a human to d.e.a.t.h in minutes and ᴅᴇᴠᴏᴜʀ them whole.
But Marcus, an IT professional, is convinced Hexxie would never ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ – even if he doesn’t handle her when his two boys, ages four and one, are close. Hexxie was purchased from a pet store eight years ago, and he has watched her grow into a 110kg (17 stone) monster that he feeds with rabbits, stillborn deer, calves, goats, and pigs donated by local farmers. Hexxie’s care is pricey since she eats so much and makes a significant amount of chalky poo once a month – enough to fill a garbage bag. According to experts, the largest Burmese python ever was 18ft 8ins, but Marcus believes Hexxie is even bigger.
He claims that when he last measured his pet, she was over 18ft tall – and that she has grown significantly since then. But he’s hesitant to put her under ᴀɴᴇsᴛʜᴇsɪᴀ for the official measurement until she’s stopped growing. “I anticipated she’d be huge,” Marcus said, “but she’s surprised everyone with how much she’s grown.” I am really interested in snakes and strive to educate others about them. People are ᴀfʀᴀɪᴅ of snakes because they believe they will k.i.l.l them, but if they come over, I can talk to them about snakes all day to reassure them.”
“[However], I wouldn’t take her out with the males around.” I’d only do it while they were asleep or in another room. I don’t believe she’d be hazardous to them, but you should exercise common sense, and I’m a responsible pet owner.” “I’m friends with a reptile specialist, and when I initially contacted him to try to obtain some pigs for food, he responded, ‘What have you got?'” he continued. When I emailed him a photo, he claimed she was the largest Burmese python he’d ever seen, and he’d seen a lot of them in the wild.” Hexxie has a home with Monty, a smaller snake, and Shiloh, the family Husky.
Marcus claims that both snakes have gone for him in the past, albeit not in a long time. Hexxie has only gone close to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋing him once when he had to apply iodene to a skin issue. He stated: “She went straight for me. Not correctly – more of a backoff, go away attitude. She’s nibbled a few times, but she’s never latched on. Her mouth is filled with hundreds of pin-shaped teeth that resemble fish hooks. If she grabs you, you won’t be able to take your hand out since all of your teeth are pointing in the incorrect direction. To unhook her teeth, you’d have to press your hand back inside her mouth. If you yanked, her fangs would dig deeper into your flesh.”
Marcus claims that Hexxie is relaxed since she has become accustomed to being petted by humans over the years. He stated: “I dealt with her on a daily basis, which is something that many people will not do. You can’t have a snake that huge attempting to bite you because you won’t be able to get close to her. Especially when she’s in a small place. You must be disciplined because the only way to prevent her from biting you is to handle her every day while she is little until she becomes accustomed to it.” Marcus needs to enlist the help of other people if he needs to move Hexxie whole but added that he knows how to peel her off, tail first if she starts to coil around him.
He cannot tell for certain that he would have the power to do so, but notes that if she was agitated or upset, she would make a loud hissing noise followed by a bad odor as a warning to leave well alone. “I would not allow it come to that point,” he continued. There is no necessity for a license to keep non-ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴᴏᴜs snakes under pet rules, and Marcus is skeptical of stories of much smaller Burmese Pythons escaping or k.i.l.ling. Previously, a ten-foot one was ʙʟᴀᴍᴇd for the d.e.a.t.h of a zookeeper in Caracas, Venezuela.
Marcus stated: “A license would be expensive and would make no difference to those who are foolish or lack common sense. You couldn’t possibly lose Hexxie. I ᴅᴏᴜʙᴛ she’d even come out if I opened the tank door. She’s content there; it’s her home.” Marcus paid £2,000 for the vivarium, £30 for each bulb, and the heater must be turned on all the time. There are also vet fees to consider, as well as the stress of not knowing where to acquire food.
Marcus sparked a commotion when he posted a plea on Facebook requesting farmers to contribute any bunnies that were going to waste as food for Hexxie, who can consume at least a half-dozen rabbits in one session. Marcus stated: “Normally, I have lab rabbits, which are ᴅɪffɪᴄᴜʟᴛ to obtain and expensive, but I know farmers sʜᴏᴏᴛ them as pests and sometimes toss them away. People seem sʜᴏᴄᴋed that I would pose such a question, but I wonder how many of them have cats or dogs. You’re not going to feed them carrots and broccoli, are you? I’ve never ᴍᴜʀᴅᴇʀᴇᴅ an animal and would never want to, yet these ʙᴇᴀsᴛs consume animals.”
A local pet shop owner has now put him in touch with farmers who can assist him. Marcus got his first snake for his 13th birthday and attributes it to watching Steve Irwin on TV. “My family has always been interested in wildlife, so I was always bound to adopt some form of an animal,” he explained. But it’s snakes that captivate me. I could watch them all day.” Marcus met Amy, 31, while they were both working at a hotel in Cheltenham. They ultimately hooked up at a farewell party, and she instantly realized that it would be “love me, love my snake.”
“I knew before we met,” she explained. I knew they were a part of his life, whether I liked it or not.” Amy, an animal enthusiast, said that she was fine with reptiles, but said: “I’m more of a fluffy, cuddly animal person.” Marcus’ emotional relationship with his slithering creatures is now clear to her. Her major ᴡᴏʀʀʏ is how much space they take up in the house. “They carry a lot of stigmas,” she remarked, “but they do grow on you.” People don’t equate them with pets, so it’s ᴅɪffɪᴄᴜʟᴛ for them to draw the link, yet you see them every day and get attached to them.”
The couple recently purchased their present home and are certain that their neighbors understand they are conscientious pet owners. Marcus stated: “We haven’t encountered any issues. If you believe Hexxie will break into your house, enter your bedroom, and eat you as you sleep, I believe your imagination is overactive. If the door is shut, she has nowhere to go and will not go upstairs. She simply would not. It would be pointless for her to try. She wouldn’t have to; there’s no need for her too. You would have a totally different perspective if you know anything about reptiles.”