A man in Victoria, Australia raised some ruckus on social media after a video was released of him swimming with a python, beer bottle in hand. According to the Gold Coast Bulletin, the carpet python belongs to Steven Brimelow of Palm Beach.
“She’s never bitten me—she’s the love of my life,” Brimelow said. “We are together all day, every day.”
The 35-year-old snake owner says he frequently goes swimming with the carpet python. As you can see in the video below, Brimelow plays with the snake, jovially tosses it around, and even kisses it while swimming. Brimelow says he is permitted to own the exotic animal by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
Watch the video below:
Snake man takes Dora for a dipUNDER INVESTIGATION: The “snake guy” who set the internet ablaze after being filmed taking his pet carpet python for a swim in Tallebudgera Creek is being investigated by police and could have the reptile taken from him. FULL STORY: http://bit.ly/1Uzewf0 what do you think? Is it cruel?
Posted by Gold Coast Bulletin on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Wildlife officials however, say they are concerned that what occurs in the video is actually animal cruelty. Officials have ordered a police investigation into the event, adding that while carpet pythons can swim, their natural habitat is on land or in a tree. Carpet pythons can tire easily while in the water and should not be swimming for long periods. Critics have also commented that the snake appears to be exhausted since it repeatedly returned to Brimelow. Unlike more common pets like dogs, snakes do not usually come when beckoned and are rarely attached to their owners. Commenters have said that the snake may be attempting to latch onto Brimelow much like how someone would hold onto a floating log for support.
“He is a physical object in the water and so the snake was swimming back to him in order to rest,” snakehandler Sean McCarthy told Daily Mail Australia.
McCarthy also added that taking the snake outside and displaying it in public requires a different license than most exotic pet owners have.
Carpet pythons are popular among pet owners, especially in Australia, for their docile nature and large size. They are not considered to be a threat to humans in the wild, but have been documented to eat small dogs. They can grow up to 13 feet in length.