Twist after man takes pet snake surfing

Twist after man takes pet snake surfing

A man filmed taking his pet snake surfing on the Gold Coast is under investigation by wildlife authorities as concerns emerge for the reptile’s welfare.

Surfer Higor Fiuza went viral this week after footage of him and his pet carpet python surfing at Rainbow Bay, near Snapper Rocks, was shared online.

Earlier this week, Mr Fiuza told the ABC his three-year-old carpet python Shiva had surfed at least ten times and “was a natural”.

“She is such an amazing snake,” Mr Fiuza said.

“I always took her to the beach, and she loved to be in the water swimming, so one day I decided to take her out for a surf, and she loved it.”

“Usually, when she doesn’t like something, she starts hissing, but she doesn’t hiss [in the water]. She is always chill.”

However, not all agree with the surfing display.

Tim Hudson, from Hudson Snake Catching Gold Coast and Hinterland, told 7 News he was concerned for the snake’s “welfare”.

“Snakes are ectotherms, so obviously, that can cause the snake a lot of stress, being out in that cold, salty water,” he told the broadcaster.

“Snakes are very fragile in their environment and how they interact with their environment. Having them out in the cold, salty surf would definitely cause that animal a considerable amount of stress.”

Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science told it has launched an investigation into the clips, though it has not yet determined whether any laws have been broken.

“The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is aware of media reports about a person allegedly taking a pet snake out in public,” a department spokesperson said.

“Wildlife officers are making inquiries into the matter to determine if any legislative provisions under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 or permit conditions under the Nature Conservation (Animals) Regulation 2020 have been breached.”

Originally published as Wildlife authorities investigate after Gold Coast man takes pet snake surfing