Snake no mistake: Australian fined for surfing with python

SYDNEY – As if sharks were not already enough to worry about, an Australian surfer has been seen paddling out with a python coiled around his neck.

The intrepid surfer caused a stir on Australia’s Gold Coast after footage emerged of him carving through the azure waves while carrying his pet carpet python.

The authorities said that he did not possess a permit to take the reptile out in public, and fined the man A$2,322 (S$2,040).

“To take an animal out in public or display, it requires a separate permit,” Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science said on Monday in a statement.

“Snakes are obviously cold-blooded animals, and while they can swim, reptiles generally avoid water,” the department said.

“The python would have found the water to be extremely cold, and the only snakes that should be in the ocean are sea snakes.”

Carpet pythons are non-venomous snakes that can grow up to 3m in length. They wrap around their prey and squeeze it until it suffocates.

They mostly eat birds, lizards and small mammals. AFP

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