Pythons can kill and swallow a whole human being in under an hour, so when you see one wrapped up around a child, it's understandable why a person would freak out.
Reptile-lover Ed Taoka is discovering just that. After sharing a video of his four-year-old cuddling a 12-foot python on his Facebook account, Twitter blew up with comments condemning the father for letting his child play with the giant snake.
Pretty sure that yawn was the python stretching its jaw muscles so it can consume this small child in the future 😳— Alicia S (@AliciaS20) July 13, 2017
I'm sorry but ain't no way in hell im letting a python cuddle up to my child.. like.. parenting 101? https://t.co/uEXbUQMNTM— Susan (@ronni_jett) July 12, 2017
My first instinct would be to get that python off that child. What the fuck https://t.co/0lMK0HtxQH— Haris (@hrzvrs) July 13, 2017
The post, which has since been set to private, was captioned, "My daughter is perfectly safe. Interaction with any animal and child must always be supervised. No, it is not sizing her up. That is a stupid myth. Neither snakes have any desire to bite or eat us. Do you know what this snake loves to eat? Rats. She loves rats. Won't eat anything else. For the love of god I have tried rabbit but she is a really fussy madam. She just eats defrosted rats."
Taoka appears to be a pro when it comes to caring for reptiles. The father has a YouTube channel dedicated to his pets, and videos often feature his daughter caring for the family's snakes.
Though the little girl appears to be comfortable with the animal, experts say pets can always pose a safety risk for kids as they have unpredictable behaviours.
In 2013, two young boys were strangled to death by an African rock python while attending a sleepover in Campbellton, New Brunswick. Though the boys had been in contact with the python before the incident, experts believed the animal attacked because it smelled other animals on the boys who visited a farm earlier in the day and suddenly saw them as a threat.
According to National Geographic, python attacks on humans are very rare as humans are not snakes' natural prey.