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Scaly, scary lodgers: Frenchman shares home with 400 reptiles




In an unassuming house on France's River Loire, a cobra lives on the coffee table, a 50kg tortoise roams the garden and a two-metre alligator sleeps in the owner's bed while another keeps watch at the door.
Over two decades, 67-year-old reptile enthusiast Philippe Gillet has amassed a collection of more than 400 phobia-inducing animals, including rattlesnakes, tarantulas and lizards in his home in western France near the city of Nantes.
Gillet says the two alligators, named Ali and Gator, were rescued from a leather farm but most of the animals are pets that outstayed their welcome elsewhere and have been abandoned or donated.
"I think it's unfair to treat these animals the way we do because we don't understand them," he told Reuters after feeding chicken to his alligators.
"We don't understand them, we hate them, we think they're horrible. But when we get to know them, you can call them over, tell them to come and eat something for example."
Gillet says he has all the necessary permits to keep and transport the animals for roadshows which he runs to raise awareness about reptiles.
He insists the locals do not mind their unusual neighbours and regularly pop in for coffee, safe...

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