The video has caused massive outrage on social media.
When we want to watch something cute and happy after the end of a really grueling day, babies playing with pet animals just relaxes you and will definitely put a smile on your face. When we think about pets, the ones that come to our mind first are cats or dogs. However, there are people with some really unusual pets out there. One of them is snakes. Recently, I learned that one of the most common fears of people (apart from the fear of clowns) is the fear of snakes.
Known as Ophidiophobia, this phobia explains a lot why not everyone wants a snake as their pet. But Jamie Guarino is not one of them and he is definitely not scared of these creatures as he owns a 13-foot Burmese python named Nay-Nay. Back in 2019, Guarino uploaded a video of the massive snake playing with his then 14-month-old daughter Alyssa, reported ABC17.
The 39-year-old snake handler said, "I was trying to show that snakes are not evil creatures, they can be a loving pet despite their bad reputation. My daughter is in absolutely no danger. When people see the way Nay-Nay is with Alyssa they mostly react with fear or negativity and I don't understand why." Understandably, this video sparked a lot of outrage from netizens who claimed that the child was in immediate danger. But Guarino rubbished all the claims saying that people had been brainwashed to believe that pythons are generally dangerous.
He continued, "This is an embedded fear, and I think people are brainwashed. To those of you who might see this video as irresponsible or dangerous, please take a minute. Don’t judge based on fear or something you don’t understand. Snakes can be, and are, loving animals.” Since he was a teenager, Guarino has been a snake-charmer and he even introduced his family to the business of snake charming.
Guarino and his daughter Krista have their own YouTube channel dedicated to snake charming. Titled as SnakeHuntersTV, the father-daughter duo regularly upload videos of them handling different species of snakes. Now, the question is, are these snakes as safe as Guarino claims? Anthony Pilny, DVM, ABVP, of The Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine in New York City, told Parents.com said that any potential pet comes with their own set of dangers.
He said, "Unpredictable behaviors happen. That a small risk exists is a given with any animal, snake or otherwise. I would assume they never leave the child and snake together unattended. In general, snakes are tame and docile and unlikely to bite for no reason. They are also unlikely to see a person as a meal, especially one the size of a 4-year-old. The snake's size is likely what bothers people because they think the snake could eat her, but that is very unlikely."
He continued, "The possibility of accidental strangulation exists as well, but again [is] unlikely. I don't see any issue with having a snake with a child if that is the pet they choose, and if they teach the child about pet care and responsibility. Parents must also know the temperament of their pets to determine safety and the likelihood of potential issues. Common sense is invaluable with any pet."
Under the viral video of Nay-Nay and then 14-month-old Krista, one user commented, saying, "Have massive amounts of respect for this guy.. it’s hard for people to understand but he’s a professional he knows his snakes and you can clearly see the snake is chill not particularly interested in the little girl but more interested in having a look around. Snakes are inquisitive animals and they are also very affectionate despite the mean reputation. Listen to this guy folks snakes are NOT what you think they are."
Another one added, "Other then the part of him saying snakes can be "loving", I don't see anything wrong here. Snakes arnt pets, they dont feel affection and love. However, this guy clearly knows what he is doing. He's had experience with them since he was young and he obviously made sure his python wasn't hungry or acting out of defense before he put the two together. And this python has clearly been handled a lot over the course of its life so its very mellowed out and takes to being handled well. This baby is in no danger. A third shared: I’m fine with snakes as long as they aren’t in my house when they shouldn’t."
What are your thoughts about this? Let us know in the comments below.