Michigan father of three Jamie Guarino is a semi-professional snake handler. He also hosts the Snakehunters TV webseries, and has carved a business out from passion for the complicated reptiles.
That passion extends to at least two of his daughters, and it meant allowing his youngest, Alyssa, to crawl alongside the family Burmese python when she was an infant.
“Snakes are not evil creatures, they can be a loving pet,” Guarino told Barcroft TV in the clip. “My daughter was in absolutely no danger… as you can see the snake is just roaming around it has no interest in biting her.”
Guarino said that dogs account for 95 percent more attacks on humans than snakes—though this is likely because dogs interface considerably more with their human masters than snakes do. In this case Guarino was right, because his toddler is now three years old, healthy, and was not suffocated via python.
Guarino said he filmed the video to prove a point about snakes: “Please take a minute, don’t judge based on fear for something you don’t understand.” His older daughter, Krista, co-hosts Snakerhunters TV and it plays like an educational program.
But is it ghastly parenting to let a baby crawl alongside a domesticated but heavy animal that can crush her with minimal effort? Even if you’re a trained snake expert that’s been handling them since age 18? Of course it is—this was a move that existed to prove a macro point, wherein the best interest of the child was secondary to showcasing the relative harmlessness of pet snakes. We have to toss the “bad parenting” red challenge flag on this one.
Screengrab via Barcroft TV/YouTube