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Sunday, 26 October 2014
Home sweet home! Meet the man who shares his house with dozens of deadly snakes.
Meet the fearless reptile-lover who always sleeps easy at night - despite sharing his home with dozens of deadly snakes.
Reptile fanatic Albert Kilian keeps around 60 poisonous slithery creatures in his tiny one-bedroom house - including a Burmese python and a king cobra with enough venom to kill a 571 stone elephant.
But his unusual hobby has almost cost him his life, as Mr Kilian - who is currently single and has owned snakes since he was in his 20s - estimates that he has been bitten more than 100 times over the last 35 years.
From these bites his list of injuries includes having his heart stop beating once, being paralysed three times, having his respiratory system fail three times and a finger permanently crooked thanks to a rattlesnake.
Despite these medical blips, Mr Kilian admits that he could not imagine his life without his slithery pets and confesses that his interest in reptiles began when he was just eight-years-old.
Then when he was in his 20s, he became the owner of thousands of slippery serpents and gave educational talks in schools and community events to educate the public about the dangers of some Floridian-based reptiles.
Mr Kilian, 58, from Homestead in Florida, USA, said: "Dealing with snakes is second-nature to me.
"They have been such a big part of my life so I just keep them around me.
"The biggest problem most people have with snakes is identifying a venomous or nonvenomous snake as they have very subtle differences.
"It's ignorance to kill a snake due to a lack of knowledge of how dangerous it is - even if it's venomous it's only trying to survive not to hurt people."
Mr Kilian is now well-known by Miami-Dade County's Venom Response Team who have come to his aid on many occasions.
He also keeps an air horn close-by in case he needs urgent help and even has stickers on each tank containing a venomous snake which states what the necessary antivenom is.
Today, Mr Kilian makes a living by extracting the venom from his pet snakes and selling it to pharmaceutical companies for research and scientific purposes.
He also works part-time at Everglades Outpost a local wildlife refuge where he helps to look after their reptiles.
But despite keeping his snakes purely for research purposes, Mr Kilian is also known to happily KISS a king cobra on the head in demonstrations.