SYDNEY, Australia -- As if sharks were not already enough to worry about, an Australian surfer has been seen paddling out with a python coiled around his neck.
The intrepid surfer caused a stir on Australia's Gold Coast after footage emerged of him carving through the azure waves while carrying his pet carpet python.
Authorities were fine with him keeping the snake as a pet, but said he did not have a permit to remove the reptile from its registered address -- let alone to take it surfing.
"To take an animal out in public or display it requires a separate permit," Queensland's Department of Environment and Science said in a statement.
"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."
Carpet pythons are non-venomous snakes that can grow up to three metres (about 10 feet) long, and wrap around their prey and squeeze it until it suffocates.
They mostly eat birds, lizards and other small mammals.
© Agence France-Presse