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Man who took snake for swim on Gold Coast could face animal cruelty charges

ABC News logo ABC News 4/03/2016

The RSPCA says a man filmed taking his pet snake for a swim on the Gold Coast could be guilty of animal cruelty.

A video of the Palm Creek man drinking beer while swimming with his pet python in Tallebudgera Creek went viral on the internet this week.

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said it was potentially a case of animal cruelty.

"It is cruel, but it's also gross stupidity rather than deliberate animal cruelty," Mr Beatty told ABC Gold Coast.

"I'm sure the person concerned basically believes he loves his snake."

RSPCA reptile experts have told Mr Beatty that the snake would likely be in distress.

There's currently a bloke down here drinking a VB tally and chucking his pet snake around. Amazing

A video posted by Indiana Bones (@indy.bones) on

"Although snakes will occasionally go in the water, it's not something they do or particularly like on a regular basis," he said.

"That snake would just be trying to get out of the water as quickly as possible and [the man] is its means of just getting out of the water."

Mr Beatty said it would appear the man was in breach of the terms of his snake-owner's licence.

"[The snake] has to stay within the confines of your home, you aren't allowed to take it out unless obviously, you're taking it to the vet or you have a special licence for educational purposes," he said.

"It's unlikely this guy's got any sort of licence like that."

In a statement, the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said it was liaising with Queensland Police in relation to investigating the matter.

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