The source goes on to reveal that her 15-year-old big brother Jaden is equally enamoured with the creatures, whom he refers to rather strangely as his ‘girlfriends’.
‘They slither into his bed and curl up with him!’ the insider says.
The publication reports that the Whip My Hair singer got her first boa constrictor back in 2008, when she was just seven years old.
The female, named Beauty, became an instant hit with the whole family upon arrival, with mom Jada telling Redbook during a July 2013 cover story that having the constrictor in the house helped cure her fear.
‘I’ve always loved snakes but was afraid of them,’ the 42-year-old explained. ‘But Willow had wanted this one snake forever. She’d go into the pet store and pick it up and wrap it around her.
‘I’d never touched a snake before, and I put out my hand, and Beauty [mimics the snake slithering
up her arm]. I’ve been in love with her ever since. I said to Willow, “You did Mommy a big favor. You helped me overcome a fear.”‘
The pets also come in handy, according to dad Will, with the 45-year-old tough guy revealing during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show back in December that he’s terrified of mice – which is their main food source.
‘I’m good with snakes. Willow has a boa constrictor,’ he said. ‘But mice? Phew!’
While it’s not known what species Willow’s nine other snakes are, the average lifespan of a boa constrictor is 25-30 years.
A full-grown red tailed boa – the breed most commonly found in pet stores – can be between eight and 10 feet in length and weigh as much as 50lbs.
Though they are usually quite docile in temperament, their strength and ability to cause serious injury should not be misjudged and it is recommended that two people handle a full-sized boa.
Veterinarian Lianne McLeod, DVM, a graduate of the Western College Of Veterinary Medicine at the University Of Saskatchewan who earned a Bachelor Of Science degree in biology from Simon Fraser University, advises on About.com‘s introduction to owning exotic pets web page that secure housing is required for constrictors, which are protected under the Convention on the International Trade
of Endangered Species (CITES).
It’s surprising that one can have so many snakes as pets when LA has such strict laws relating to other animals – with one household only permitted to house three dogs unless they seek consent
and are given express permission to have more.
Of course, Will and Jada’s decision to allow their young daughter to keep so many of the reptiles as pets – and especially in her bedroom – could be considered another cause for concern, after
the teenager posted a photograph in bed with an older male friend last month.
The black and white Instagram pic, which showed her lounging bed with a shirtless Moisés Arias –
the 20-year-old former Hannah Montana actor – was deemed inappropriate by many, with the Los Angeles County Department Of Children And Family Services (DCFS) receiving an anonymous tip that caused them to investigate.
On Monday, RadarOnline reported that DCFS officials have cleared Willow’s famous parents of any wrongdoing, with no action to be taken against them in the matter.
They concluded that there was ‘no evidence presented that Willow has ever been in any danger around Moisés, or that she has ever been physically or emotionally abused’.
They added that the teen appears to be ‘a very well adjusted, smart and articulate young lady’ and advised that her parents keep a watchful eye over her social media activity to avoid any more such occurrences.