Meet NR3's Nicholas who shares his home with dozens of unusual beasts

Nicholas Baker with his corn snake called Waverley, aged five, whose colour is called buttermilk. Pi

Nicholas Baker with his corn snake called Waverley, aged five, whose colour is called buttermilk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Creepy crawlies, rats and snakes are not most people’s idea of ideal housemates.

But that is exactly why Nicholas Baker adores the animal kingdom’s most unlovable pets.   

The 27-year-old is currently sharing his home with five rats, a snake, a spider, a millipede, herds of crustaceans named isopods and three beetles.  

Nicholas Baker with his corn snake called Waverley, aged five, whose colour is called buttermilk. Pi

Nicholas Baker with his corn snake called Waverley, aged five, whose colour is called buttermilk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Nicholas' love of animals began with the slightly more mundane hamster but as he got older the creepiness kicked in.

“I lived with someone six years ago who had always wanted rats so I got one with her and I just fell in love,” he said.

“They are so cute and have huge personalities.  

“As for the snake, I was always interested in them but my dad was scared of them.

Nicholas Baker's fancy rats, Hector, left, aged two, and Jinora, aged one. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Nicholas Baker's fancy rats, Hector, left, aged two, and Jinora, aged one. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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“When I left university and had my own money I thought I would get one. I’ve had my snake Waverley for four years now.” 

Nicholas also has a Trinidad Olive tarantula, named Ziggy Stardust by his step-dad.  

Nicholas Baker's Trinidad Olive tarantula called Ziggy Stardust. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Nicholas Baker's Trinidad Olive tarantula called Ziggy Stardust. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

And tarantulas, unlike spiders, don’t make webs but do throw silk which Nicholas says “is beautiful to see”.

He also insists that people have nothing to fear from spiders and admits he loves the "creepiness" of his pets.  

“All spiders are venomous but few have enough venom to harm a human,” he said.

“Ziggy is pretty docile and generally shy – he wouldn’t hurt a person even if he wanted to.”  

However he does agree that spiders are more for looking after rather than handling.  

“Spiders are very delicate and don’t really want to be picked up so I don't often handle him,” he added. 

The also has an elusive millipede named Bullet who isn't often seen as he spends most of his time underground. 

Nicholas Baker's blue death-feigning beetles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Nicholas Baker's blue death-feigning beetles. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

But the isopods - which Nicholas often spots - are "fascinating".

He said: “They’re pretty simple. They eat dead bugs and plants and just keep things going without the need for frequent clean outs.” 

But even though his creepy zoo also includes the likes of blue death-feigning beetles Nicholas is hoping to add to his collection - with spiders, scorpions and some praying mantis. 

Nicholas Baker with his fancy rats, Hector, aged two, and Jinora, aged one. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Nicholas Baker with his fancy rats, Hector, aged two, and Jinora, aged one. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

He said: “Maybe in the future I will also get a cat but not while I’ve got rats!”