Surfing Snake Put On House Arrest By Australian Wildlife Officers.

Higor Fiuza via Nine News Australia. TV News in Australia reported on the surfing pet snake.
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An Australian surfer who appeared on local TV news surfing with his pet carpet python round his neck has been and told to leave his snake at home for taking the snake out in public after the video clip came to the attention of local wildlife protection officers.

Higor Fiuza and his carpet python Shiva were frequently seen at beaches on the Gold Coast, a tourist hotspot on the country’s east coast, according to Australia’s  Nine News.

Shiva, who would wrap herself around Fiuza’s neck or dangle on the edge of his board, appeared to enjoy the sport, her owner told Nine News earlier this month.

But the good times weren’t to last as Fiuza has been slapped with a fine of around $1,500 for breaching the terms of his pet’s license, according to a statement from Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science.

While he held the correct permit to keep the reptile, he was not allowed to remove it from its licensed premises, the statement said.

“The man was brought to our attention when he appeared in local media taking his python into the surf,” said senior wildlife officer Jonathan McDonald. “We do not want permit holders to be displaying their native animals in public unless it is done for a specific approved purpose and in a way that best provides for the welfare of the animal, the safety of the public and complies with the relevant codes.”

Officials were concerned about Shiva’s well-being, he added.

“Snakes are obviously cold-blooded animals, and while they can swim, reptiles generally avoid water,” he 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 can grow up to 4 meters (13 feet) in length, though most don’t exceed 2.5 meters, according to the Queensland government. The non-venomous species lives almost everywhere in Australia except Tasmania and mostly eats smaller animals such as rats, possums, birds and lizards.

Fuiza previously told Nine News he believed Shiva enjoyed the water, saying she never hissed while surfing – something she does when annoyed.

“(I) go under the water and come up and she’s just there,” he said. “Never put out my hand to save her or anything.”

Sources: CNN, BBC

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