A hiss-terical surfer who became famous for taking his pet snake out with him on the board has been fined.
Higor Fiuza, from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, was seen in Rainbow Bay with his morelia bredli python called Shiva at least 10 times.
He told Nine News: ‘She goes for a swim a little and then comes back to the board – she’s just cruising waiting for a wave – for the perfect wave.
‘[She will] go under the water, come up, she’s always there and I never have to put my hand out to save her or anything.
‘She enjoys it because when she gets annoyed with anything she starts hissing, but when she’s surfing she doesn’t do anything – she just holds on.’
Video footage of the pair catching the waves went viral online earlier this month.
But Mr Fiuza admitted his actions are somewhat ‘hit or hiss’: ‘Some people get a bit scared, some people love it.’
But Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science has since confirmed Mr Fiuza was fined 2,322 Australian dollars (£1,207) for taking the reptile out in public without permission.
Wildlife officer Jonathan McDonald said: ‘The man was brought to our attention when he appeared in local media taking his python 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.’
The department confirmed that although Mr Fiuza had the correct permit to keep the snake, he did not have a permit to take it out of his property.
Mr McDonald added: ‘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.’
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