I wash my clothes once a week & turn off heating so I can afford to keep my snakes…people think I'm crazy but I love it | The Sun

A GRAN has revealed how she is scaling back on her energy costs so she can keep her beloved pet snakes.

Amanda Leedham only washes her clothes once a week, doesn't watch TV and switches the heating off to keep costs down.

The 50-year-old is trying to save money during the cost of living crisis so she can her menagerie of exotic animals.

Amanda has a large collection of reptiles – from rat snakes to a huge Burmese python and even a nappy-wearing tortoise called Crystal.

The mum, who lives in Birmingham with her son, said: "The snakes are like my children, you wouldn't throw your kids out because of the cost-of-living.

"People think snakes are dumb and have no capacity to love, I want to change that. I love them more than anything in the world, I wouldn't cope without my snakes.

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"They are good for people with stress and mental health problems, they have a calming effect.

"I recently lost my brother to brain cancer and they helped me through it.

"My family thought I had had a breakdown, asking: 'What makes you want to have snakes?' I said: 'Why not?'"

Amanda regularly posts online about her fridge-raiding slippery brood.

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Among the collection are king snakes Baby Boo and Bert, corn snakes Hissie and Rosberg and Burmese python Fiona.

She said: "They are not venomous and have restricted food of frozen pre-killed mice and rats, they only need to eat once every two to three weeks.

"You just need proper heating and lighting, I keep them in wooden vivariums. In summer I take the snakes into the garden to get exercise, they also free roam around the house.

"Unfortunately there is not a lot of snake insurance and only two exotic vets in Birmingham.

"If a snake is scared it will pull away, if it is happy it will flick its tongue and slither around you. They will slither on my shoulder and rub their face against mine. I have socialised them and we have a good relationship.

"I tell people, you let your dog lick your face, I let my snakes kiss me!"

Amanda claims snakes are regularly being abandoned due to rising energy bills.

She is urging anyone who is struggling to keep up with the cost of raising a reptile to contact a rescuer for help.

But she is keen not to add to her scaly collection just yet as there is "no more room at the inn".

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