A Gold Coast surfer was fined after appearing on TV, taking his pet snake surfing. Photo / Nine, screenshot; skymonkey, Instagram

A Gold Coast surfer has been fined after introducing his pet python to his favourite hobby.

Shiva the surfing snake, a 3-year-old morelia bredli Carpet python, had been making waves on social media for public appearances at Australian beaches. Now owner, Higor Fiuza, has been fined more than $2500 for taking his pet out in public.

Fiuza has recently appeared in a television profile for Nine News, and the footage came back to bite him.

“She goes for a swim a little and then comes back to the board — just cruising waiting for a wave – for the perfect wave,” he told the news channel on 5 September, draped in the snake.


Advertise with NZME.

The surfer told the broadcast that Shiva never complained about being taken surfing. He would take the python out for hours, just “hanging” on his shoulders, waiting for the perfect wave.

However now animal welfare officials have slapped the snake owner with a AU$2322 fine, after seeing the surfer on the TV.

Fiuza’s treatment of the native snake species was frowned upon, using the animal to seek attention.

They said he may be misreading the snake’s silence as contentment – petrifying the reptile.


Advertise with NZME.

“The man was brought to our attention when he appeared in local media taking his python into the surf,” Senior Wildlife Officer Jonathan McDonald, from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, said in a statement

Although the Queensland surfie had the correct licence for keeping the native reptile species, he did not have permit to take it from his home as the licenced premises.

“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,” said McDonald

“Taking native pets out in public can cause the animals unnecessary stress, and they can behave in an unpredictable way when they are removed from their enclosures.”

The unnatural habitat could have been extremely dangerous for the cold-blooded snake.

“While they can swim, reptiles generally avoid water,” said the statement.

An issue was also issued a warning for not updating his online record of ownership, for Shiva.

Carpet pythons are a common breed of non-venomous snakes, native to Australia, growing to about 2.5 metres long, according to the Department of Environment and Science. Although extremely large specimens have been known to grow up to 4 metres long.

Source link