19 September 23
As reported by the ABC: A surfer who was filmed with his pet python at a Gold Coast beach has been fined for breaching the conditions of his permit.
Footage of Higor Fiuza and his carpet python Shiva longboarding at Rainbow Bay went viral earlier this month after being shared online.
Mr Fiuza told the ABC at the time that his three-year-old Morelia bredli carpet python had surfed at least 10 times.
But Queensland's Department of Environment and Science said Mr Fiuza had since been fined $2,322 for taking the reptile out in public without permission.
Senior wildlife officer John McDonald said the surfer was also issued with a warning for not meeting online reporting requirements.
"The man was brought to our attention when he appeared in local media taking his python into the surf," Mr McDonald said.
"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."
Mr McDonald said permit conditions prohibited animals from being removed from their licensed premises unless it was for a trip to the vet, selling or giving the animal to another permit holder, or taking it to an authorised display.
"To take an animal out in public or display it requires a separate permit from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries," he said.
Mr McDonald said taking native pets out in public could cause the animals unnecessary stress.
He said they could behave in an unpredictable way when removed from their enclosures.
"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."
Mr Fiuza declined to comment on the matter.
- AUTHOR: DANIELLE MAHE