Eight-year-old shares her bedroom with more than 50 spiders

Meet the eight-year-old conservationist who loves spiders so much that she shares her bedroom - with more than 50 of them
Meet the eight-year-old conservationist who loves spiders so much that she shares her bedroom - with more than 50 of them

Story and video from SWNS

Meet the eight-year-old conservationist who loves spiders so much that she shares her bedroom - with more than 50 of them.

Hollie Greenhalgh also keeps two snakes and a scorpion as well as enclosures full of millipedes, grasshoppers, cockroaches and snails in her own impressive mini zoo.

The exotic pets are kept in separate enclosures and Hollie spends around three hours every weekend feeding them all.

The youngster, who aspires to be the next David Attenborough, hosts her own educational YouTube channel which has more than 6,000 subscribers.

She provides in-depth information, facts and caring tips to viewers on videos she creates in her bedroom and edits with her mum Rachel Greenhalgh, 29.

Hollie first fell in love with creepy crawlies as a toddler and was given her first spider - a Mexican Red Knee tarantula - for her seventh birthday.

Since then, Rachel and partner David Rylance, 31, have shelled out around £500 to help Hollie amass her vast collection of creatures.

But Hollie, from Winsford, Cheshire, said the Mexican Red Knee - called Hairyett - is still her favourite.

She said: "I just like the way tarantulas walk, they're just really cute in general.

"I want spread the message that tarantulas and invertebrates are amazing and cute.

"It takes up a bit of time to look after them, but I would rather stay at home with my animals than play out with my friends."

Hollie, who lives with her parents and older sister Millie, 11, researches all of her exotic pets online and has an encyclopedic knowledge of each animal she cares for.

Fans of her YouTube channel even send her animals to help inform and educate viewers about how to care for them.

She said: "The animals are much more scared of us than we are of them.

"I want to be a zoo keeper when I grow up and I want to be the next David Attenborough and travel the world presenting shows about animals.

"I've watched everything he's done and he knows so much about animals, I have learnt a lot from his shows. That's what I want to do."

Hollie lived out a day of her dreams already when she was invited to Blackpool Zoo last year to give a presentation about insects to visitors.

Her obsession began when she was just two and she was fascinated by a spider in the kitchen and held it in her hands.

Mum Rachel, a teaching assistant, said: "I always remember she had a spider in her hands and she was talking to it.

"I took her to a bug exhibition at a museum and she held all the animals and creepy crawlies."

Rachel admits she is scared of spiders herself and had only planned to buy Hollie just one tarantula.

But after seeing how calm and confident she was around them, Rachel began to relax and now even helps Hollie out filming and editing her YouTube videos.

She added: "It does help with the fear when you keep them. I'm still not great, but I'm better than I was.

"I'm always on hand to supervise her with the animals when she gets them out and films them.

"She's quite aware that things can go wrong, but she is very responsible with them.

"She will use long tweezers to feed the tarantulas and she doesn't handle them often.

"She knows not to put her hands in when she is feeding them.

"I did say I was only going to get her one tarantula and now she has more than 50.

"I will only get her what I'm comfortable with her having. The more I watch her grow and see how responsible she is, it helps."

It isn't just exotic animals that Hollie cares for, as she has also trained the family cat Harrie to sit and hold her finger.

Rachel added: "I think the animals can sense her calmness and confidence and it relaxes them.

"We have two cats and one of them doesn't entertain anyone the way he does Hollie.

"He loves her, it's really cute. She taught him to sit and hold her finger.

"She is the only person he will sit with.

"She just loves all animals, she's like Dr Doolittle."