Year of the charmer

Year of the charmer
Professional snake charmer expects his pythons to be very busy during the CNY period

MOST people would be horrified to have snakes under their roof.

But not Mr Mohd Yusof Kassim.

The 49-year-old is a professional snake charmer, and keeps two pythons in his three-room HDB flat. He has a license from the Agri-Food Veterinary Authority to keep the snakes.

And with the Chinese ushering in the Year of the Snake on Feb 10, Mr Yusof expects the pythons, named Mr Bean and Charlie, to be very busy.

"I already have 20 bookings for the Chinese New Year (CNY) period, mostly from Malaysia," said Mr Yusof, who usually gets an average of three to four bookings a month.

"This is the Year of the Snake, and it's my year."

The veteran snake charmer, who goes by the nickname Mr Yusof "Ular" (snake in Malay), is booked up to three sessions a day during peak periods.

During his hour-long show, he gets the audience to interact with the snakes, while he performs magic and does comedy.

He took part in Festival Ular, a snake charming competition held in Malaysia six years back, where he placed third out of 40 contestants from India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Australia, England and Malaysia.

Contestants were judged on how fast they could "charm" a wild poisonous snake and if they could perform special acts, such as kiss the snake.

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