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Surfers on Australian beach

Photo: Flavio Brancaleone / EPA

Actually, sharks would be enough cause for concern: In Australia, a surfer south of Brisbane was seen on his surfboard with a python wrapped around his neck. The authorities imposed a fine of the equivalent of 1400 euros on the man. They were not bothered by the fact that he kept the diamond python as a pet. However, he did not have permission to remove the animal from its registered address or even to take it with him for surfing.

"A separate permit is required to bring an animal into the public eye or put it on display," said Queensland's Department of Environment and Science. "Snakes are obviously cold-blooded, and although they can swim, reptiles usually avoid the water." As the ministry further announced, the water for the python was very cold. "The only snakes that should be in the ocean are sea snakes."

Rue pythons are found in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The animals, which can be up to three meters long, are non-poisonous and wrap themselves around their prey until it suffocates. The reptiles mainly eat birds, lizards and small mammals.