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Geraint Hopkins, the ‘Snakeman’, has turned his own home into a zoo with 120 snakes, 70 spiders, frogs, geckos and hedgehogs – and many other animals some wouldn’t dream of living with.
His house, in Llanelli, is also filled with bald rats, lizards, cockroaches, frogs and cats and dogs. Geraint, with wife Yolande, have so many animals, they spend several hours a day cleaning up after them.
His journey began with one snake which he borrowed from a friend and used to raised money for charity during events. But it wasn’t until he met his wife Yolande, when their collection eventually grew.
“I started with borrowing a snake from my mate and then, of course, I met Yolande and now we have hundreds of snakes,” the 68-year-old said.
The pair estimate they own around 120 different snakes and 70 spiders, including Burmese pythons, albino pythons, a Mexican red knee tarantula and a salmon pink bird eater – which is the third-largest tarantula in the world.
“Snakes are definitely my favourite – people don’t realise how amazing they are. They are so intelligent. I just love being around them.”
It takes two hours each day to clean up after the snakes and costs thousands each year to feed all of the animals in the house. “We have to wake up early and feed them all,” said Geraint.
“What a lot of people don’t know is how long it takes to clean up after the snakes. When I’m not here we have a security man. We have CCTV and security all over the house – it takes a lot of time and effort to look after them all but we love it.”
He’s even worked with Joey Essex, done a show for Sir Anthony Hopkins’ birthday and cured people of their snake and spider phobias.
He added: “Meeting Yolande and marrying her has been my life highlight. And now we’ve got this place with hundreds of snakes and spiders and lizards – like you can see it’s like a zoo here.”
Their home is filled with dogs barking, bald rats and cats making unlikely friendships and venomous snakes and spiders.
He said: “I just love it all and Yolande loves it too – and who wants a boring life anyway?”