SETBO VILLAGE, Cambodia - Being responsible parents, rice farmer Khuorn Sam Ol and his wife might not be expected to be keen on having their child play with a 16-foot-long, 220-pound snake. Yet they are unflustered that their 7-year-old son, Uorn Sambath, regularly sleeps in the massive coil of a female python, rides the reptile, kisses it and even pats it down with baby powder. “There is a special bond between them,” Khuorn Sam Ol explained. “My son played with the snake when he was still learning to crawl. They used to sleep together in a cradle.” Wildlife and police officials used to come by to try to take the snake away and put it in a zoo. But they relented after seeing Uorn Sambath lovingly cuddling the reptile.
“I will not let anyone take her away from me, either. I love her very much,” declared his son, Uorn Sambath, kissing his pet on the head.