A man filmed on a surfing safari with his pet snake on the Gold Coast has been slapped with thousands of dollars in fines.
Footage splashed over social media earlier this month showed the man taking his python surfing at a popular beach.
The pair also featured on news broadcasts, drawing the attention and ire of Queensland wildlife officers, who launched a probe into the surfing python.
“Our investigation found the man had a permit to keep native animals, but he was issued with a Penalty Infringement Notice for breaching section 88a of the Nature Conservation Act,” senior wildlife officer Jonathan McDonald said in a statement.
“Permit holders are not allowed to take animals from their licenced premises unless taking them to a vet or, selling or giving the animal to another permit holder or taking it to an authorised display.”
Investigators issued a $2322 fine and said the owner needed another wave of permits from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries before venturing into the surf.
“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.
“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.”
Taking captive-bred reptiles out in public posed a threat to native wildlife, he said
“Snakes are obviously cold-blooded animals, and while they can swim, reptiles generally avoid water.
“The python would have found the water to be extremely cold, and the only snakes that should be in the ocean are sea snakes.”
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wildlife/wipeout-for-python-owner-and-surfing-snake-c-11935967 Wipeout for python owner and surfing snake