A Gold Coast man who was filmed surfing with his pet python has been hit with a large fine for taking the reptile out in public.
Earlier this month, 9News reported snake owner Higor Fiuza was often seen catching the waves with his morelia bredli python, named Shiva.
"She goes for a swim a little and then comes back to the board — just cruising waiting for a wave – for the perfect wave," he told 9News.
The snake appeared to enjoy the water because she usually hissed when she was annoyed, and that was yet to happen while out surfing, Fiuza said.
Fiuza was handed the $2322 last Thursday after footage of the owner surfing with his snake went viral online.
"The man was brought to our attention when he appeared in local media taking his python into the surf," Senior Wildlife Officer Jonathan McDonald, from the Department of Environment and Science, said in a statement.
Although Fiuza held the correct permit to keep native animals, he was not allowed to take the snake from his licenced premises without a special permit, McDonald said.
"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," he said.
"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."
McDonald said the department was concerned for the welfare of the snake.
"Snakes are obviously cold-blooded animals, and while they can swim, reptiles generally avoid water," he said.
"The python would have found the water to be extremely cold, and the only snakes that should be in the ocean are sea snakes."
9news.com.au has reached out to Fiuza for comment.