Reptile-loving dad lets his kids play with a 19-foot-long python

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snake71Modal TriggerReptile-loving Dad Lets His Children Play with a 19-foot Python 112 Eric LeBlanc with his three children Erica, Larry and Katie with some snakes and Jellybean the monitor lizard in Anaheim, California. Photo: Barcroft Media These kids don’t get wrapped up in a fear of snakes. Their dad, a reptile aficionado who owns hundreds of snakes and lizards, recently had to move dozens of the predators into his house after a fire at his reptile store. Eric LeBlanc allows Erica, 3, Larry, 4, and Katie, 7, to handle them. “The worst bite my daughter got was from a bearded dragon,” LeBlanc, 43, told Barcroft Media.“My son got bit in the forehead one time by a ball python when he was around 2 years old,” he said. “He opened one of the tubs after me and basically startled it – the python jumped up and bit him on the nose.” LeBlanc said the slithery creatures make great pets. “They don’t have fleas and are low maintenance so you don’t have to take them to a vet regularly like a dog or a cat,” he said. “I have Shelby, a 7-year-old albino lavender reticulated python – these are some of the biggest snakes in the world.”
He said he knows what the 19-foot-long Shelby can do. “When you hold her you can feel her moving you – she is like one big muscle. When she is playing with the kids she really pulls them,” he said. “They can really feel the strength of her – you’ve got to have total respect for these animals and that’s what I have.”
LeBlanc defended his actions, saying he’d never leave his children with the reptiles unsupervised.
“In this country everybody has an opinion. Some people think it’s safe for kids to shoot guns,” he said. “I won’t let my kids shoot guns but I’m comfortable with them being around reptiles – I guess we’re all pretty individual in how we bring our children up.”

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