Sambath Uon and his best pal Lucky
The struggle to find that perfect pet for their child can send some mothers and fathers loopy.
Luckily for the parents of six-year- old Sambath Uon, his best friend slithered right into his lap.
The boy refuses to go to bed without the 6m (20ft) Burmese python named Lucky.
‘I love the python like my sister,’ said Sambath. ‘All my friends are jealous of her.’
When Lucky first slunk into the Cambodian village, she was 50cm (20in) long and Sambath was just three months old.
His parents tried to return it to the forest three times but she kept coming back.
Sambath’s mother, Kim Kanara, said: ‘We would find it asleep next to Sambath. They have slept together every night for the past six years.
‘She is a member of the family now. We shelter, feed, bathe and even pray to her.’ Lucky, or Chomreun in Khmer, is thought to have healing powers.
Mrs Kanara added: ‘Some recovered from sickness after being blessed by her.’