Widow overcomes lifelong phobia of snakes - by adopting 9ft Burmese python

A widow has overcome her lifelong phobia of snakes - by adopting a nine foot long Burmese python. Rosie Kin, 63, was terrified of snakes until her daughter Rachel Kin, 33, moved in with her last year to keep her company after her husband died. Rachel had recently rehomed a six foot long ball python for a friend, who also moved in with her, despite Rosie's protests. But after spending some time with the python, Rosie gradually began to overcome her fear. So much so, that last month, she adopted Amun-Ra, a nine foot Burmese python, who she rehomed from a reptile centre that was shutting down. Rosie, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, said: "A year ago I wouldn’t even step foot into a room with a snake. "Now me and Amun-Ra are totally inseparable. I couldn't imagine life without him." Rosie lost her husband Robert Kin after he suffered a stroke in January 2022, aged 68. Rachel moved in to support her, but brought with her her pet snake Ruslana - a six foot ball python. Rosie had been terrified of snakes since she was a child, and originally wasn't happy with the idea of one living in her house. But she reluctantly agreed, under the conditions that Rachel was not allowed to get her out of her cage when she was at home. Rosie, a retired nurse, said: "My mother always had a fear and loathing of snakes. "She wouldn't even go to look at them in the zoo, and as a child I felt they weren't animals that would be very friendly. "My late husband used to chase me up the garden with slow worms which also didn't help. "Rachel had her snake, and originally I was terrified. "I banned her from taking her out of her cage while I was in the house, until I thought 'I have to get a grip of this'." After a few weeks, Rosie started to interact with Ruslana and talk to her through the glass. The mum-of-three became more and more comfortable, until the thought of holding her didn't terrify her as much anymore. And, last month, Rosie agreed to visit a family run reptile centre with Rachel - which was closing down. The pair only went to buy mice for Ruslana, but there, Rosie met Amun-Ra, a nine foot Burmese python who needed rehoming. Rosie says she felt an instant connection with the reptile that was too strong too ignore, and adopted him there and then. She said: "After educating myself on keeping snakes as pets I have come to understand they are misunderstood and often portrayed in a negative light. "Ruslana was a good stepping stone to overcoming my fear, and then after meeting Amun-Ra, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to look after him. "We connected straight away and we have been inseparable ever since. "He relies on me to feed him and make sure he's okay, and he's helped me deal with the loss of my husband. "He comes and sits with me watching TV and he slithers up my book shelf. He loves a wander around the lounge. "We always handle him with two people present given his 9ft frame, and its very much on his terms. "He brings so much joy to my life."