Junior handler 小小弄蛇人

Fri, Sep 08, 2006 - Page 21

After almost an hour locked in a cage with 30 poisonous snakes, three-year-old Siti Amirah had just one thing on her mind: her milk bottle.

Siti, whose father is a snake handler in the northeastern Kelantan state, chatted calmly with the deadly cobras and other snakes as they curled around her neck and hands.

“You OK?” she was quoted by a local newspaper as playfully asking one of the serpents.

Siti's father, Sayuti Harun, said his daughter was first exposed to snakes when she was a year old. She showed no fear and was comfortable around his 112 pet snakes, among them pythons, cobras and rattlesnakes.

Sayuti, 61, said he planned to pass on to Siti the snake-handling skills that he learned from his father 35 years ago.

After spending nearly an hour in the cage with the snakes, Siti ambled out and, unfazed by cheering and applause from a watching crowd, she reached for her milk bottle.

Staff at the resort hotel where the show was held were not able to provide contact information for Sayuti and would not say what safety precautions were taken.

The hotel's public relations department, which organized the event, was closed for a public holiday. (AP)