WITH tanks full of serpents, lizards, and creepy crawlies, this could be the reptile house at a zoo.
But this is Andrew Dalby’s Halifax home, where he keeps a menagerie of more than 30 exotic pets – including seven venomous snakes.
The 32-year-old’s fascination began over a decade ago when he chose a boa constrictor, Eddie, as a 21st birthday present.
He said: “From then I was hooked. I’ve always liked animals but it wasn’t until my teens that I was interested in more exotic ones.
“It’s because everyone else doesn’t like them really. I’ve always preferred weird things.”
Since then, the warehouse worker has added more snakes to his collection, along with lizards, a turtle, spiders, scorpions and giant centipedes.
Andrew is also the only person in Calderdale to hold a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence, which allows him to keep venomous snakes.
He was granted permission to keep the deadly reptiles last year by Calderdale Council, after rigorous checks on his knowledge, experience and home set-up.
Since then, he has got three rattlesnakes, two desert horned vipers, a Vogel’s pit viper and a puff adder.
Their antivenom is only available from two places in the UK– the nearest is the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
“You keep well away from them,” said Andrew.
“I already knew someone who kept them and he taught me how to look after them and feed them. They are just on a different scale to normal snakes.
“The main thing with them is the security of the tanks they are in.”
Andrew said his fiancée Victoria Sykes, 25, was happy to share their Lee Mount home with his unusual pets.
“She knew that I kept snakes before I met her and it’s just grown from there. But she’s not overly keen on the bugs.
“The snakes have always been my favourite but to name a favourite out of those I’ve got, I couldn’t.
“They are fantastic pets. As long as you have got the right set-up and know what you are doing, they are the easiest pets to keep.”