A father from Detroit, Michigan has released a video of his baby daughter interacting with a 13-foot Burmese python, in a bid to dispel the snakes' poor reputation.
Jamie Guarino, a professional snake handler, filmed his daughter Alyssa playing with the family's pet python, Nay-Nay, at their home in Warren, a suburb of Detroit, when she was just 14-months-old. As the Daily Mail reports, he has made it a personal mission to educate people about snakes, attempting to dispel the perception that pythons and their ilk are dangerous.
"I was trying to show that snakes are not evil creatures, they can be a loving pet despite their bad reputation," he said.
"When people see the way Nay-Nay is with Alyssa they mostly react with fear or negativity and I don't understand why. As you can see the snake is roaming around and it has no interest in biting her, or choking her or swallowing her. This is an embedded fear and I think people are just brainwashed."
Though the video was filmed while Alyssa was a baby, she is now a 3-year-old, as the Telegraph reports. Guarino, a father of three, regularly lets his children play with the python and other reptiles that share their home. In addition to the python, the Guarinos house 30 animals, including anacondas and alligators.
Video: Watch 14-month old baby play with Burmese Python http://t.co/KQ4Bj5P4X6 pic.twitter.com/hqzOzlgqEcDespite his relaxed attitude toward the snake, Guarino understands that many people react negatively to footage of a baby interacting with a python.
— The Daily Record (@Daily_Record) January 2, 2015
"To those of you who might see this as irresponsible or dangerous, please don't judge me based on fear or something you don't understand," he asserted. "Snakes can be and are loving animals. If you research the facts there an 95 per cent more dog attacks than snakes. My daughter was absolutely in no danger."
Dad criticised over shocking footage of child playing with python http://t.co/wZ42DeBUbN pic.twitter.com/KOWPyNdDBRLast month, a 15-foot-long Burmese python was discovered near a restaurant in Florida. As the Inquisitr previously reported, pythons have flourished in the Everglades, despite the fact that they are not an indigenous species. Pythons were only first found living in the Everglades in the late 1970s. Though they are indiscriminate predators, pythons are not known to commonly attack humans.
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Guarino hopes to one day open a reptile zoo with his daughters. He believes that endeavor will allow him to both share his passion and educate people, as he also hopes the footage of the python interacting with Alyssa as a baby will.
[Image: Jamie Guarino/ Barcroft USA via the Daily Mail]