The waters off the coast of Australia are overflowing with animals most people don’t want to encounter, but one surfer ended up in hot water after adding a somewhat unexpected creature to that list: his pet python.
Over the summer, another surfer in the country went viral for casually catching a wave with a deceased shark on the front of his surfboard, and while it appeared we’d reached Peak Australia with the clip in question, Gold Coast icon Higor Fiuza did what he could to top it by hitting the water with a carpet python he’s named Shiva in tow.
Unfortunately, it seems like Shiva won’t be getting another chance to get out on the ocean.
According to ABC, Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science has hit Fiuza with a $2,322 fine (around $1,500 in American money) for violating the terms of the permit that allows him to have the python in the first place.
Carpet pythons are just one of the more than 170 snake species that call Australia home (including dozens that reside in the ocean). However, as the outlet notes, if you want to keep one in captivity, you’re required to agree to a set of rules that prevent you from bringing the animal outside of your home unless you’re bringing it to a vet, selling it to someone else, or transporting it to an “authorized display.”
As you can see, “taking a pet snake surfing” is not one of the listed exceptions, and Fiuza (who said he took Shiva out on the water with him at least 10 times) appeared to blow up his own spot with the interviews he conducted after he and his pet became viral sensations.
The agency that fined the surfer cited the “unnecessary stress” the python could’ve been subjected to while noting the adventure could have caused it to “behave in an unpredictable way” and possibly harmed Fiuza and others as a result.
In a perfect world, Fiuza and his python would’ve gotten an exemption for being objectively awesome, but sadly, that loophole doesn’t currently exist.